Not a moment too soon, the Wi-Fi Alliance will address one of the main problems with WLAN phones by certifying features which extend battery life. In addition to the organization's interoperability certification, the industry group will add a label it calls Wireless Multimedia (WMM) Power Save, which identified products that had reduced the power required to use multimedia applications over WLANs. This is a good and necessary move. Using a WLAN for VoIP, streaming video and other multimedia applications increased the power consumption of WiFi, which is already power-hungry because of the technology's ongoing searches for nearby APs.
Equipment certified for WMM Power Save should extend battery life under multimedia use by 15 percent to 40 percent. WMM Power Save included improved signaling capabilities and mechanisms for fine-tuning power consumption. It uses some elements of the IEEE 802.11e specification, a standard for improving multimedia on WiFi which was approved in September. Most of the rest of 802.11e would be included in the WMM Scheduled Access certification which would be introduced in mid-2006.
For more on the Wi-Fi Alliance's WMM:
- see this PC World report