IEEE releases 802.11aq to better detect WLAN availability

Enterprise WLAN unit shipments to North America reached a record level in the second quarter of 2018, according to the Dell’Oro Group. (Pixabay)

IEEE and the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) announced the approval of IEEE 802.11aq, an amendment to IEEE 802.11 that addresses discovery of available services in wireless local area networks (WLANs).

IEEE says it will help both network operators and end users by allowing users to see which services are available before actually connecting their devices to a WLAN. In addition, 802.11aq offers the potential for revenue generation with the ability to store and cache available services with access points.

“Connecting to a WLAN without first being able to easily discover whether a given service is supported by that network is often a source of frustration for end users,” said Stephen McCann, chair IEEE 802.11aq task group, in a press release. “The IEEE 802.11aq amendment mitigates these situations by permitting users to quickly determine what services are available prior to actually connecting their devices. IEEE 802.11aq also delivers a critical competitive advantage through service differentiation in crowded market environments.”

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The IEEE 802.11aq amendment, which was approved in June 2018, specifies parameters for pre-association queries between wireless networks and devices. By facilitating a rich exchange of information between the wireless access point and the user’s device, users can discover which types of services are supported before making the decision to connect, according to IEEE.

RELATED: Emerging 802.11ax, IoT to drive spending in WLAN: report

Meanwhile, enterprise WLAN unit shipments to North America reached a record level in the second quarter of 2018, according to the Dell’Oro Group. Shipments grew at double-digit rates for the first time in more than two years, and three vendors—Arris, Cisco and Ubiquiti Networks—accounted for the vast majority of the increase.

Dell’Oro analysts believe the uptick is related to users upgrading their WLANs as part of larger upgrade projects in enterprise campus networks.

Early-to-market next-generation 802.11ax products are expected to start shipping in the third quarter of this year, with the majority to follow in the first half of 2019.