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Interim WLAN QoS Standard To Be Released

The Wi-Fi Alliance will release an interim standard next week for quality of service (QoS) over wireless LANs that is aimed at fostering voice and streaming multimedia applications, it was widely reported this week.

The interim standard -- dubbed Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM) -- provides prioritization of packets that stream over wireless LANs, a necessity for applications such as voice and multimedia. The interim specification is generally considered to be a subset of the IEEE's 802.11e QoS standard. That standard isn't expected to be approved until next year.

"WMM will allow you to say, 'this packet is voice, so put it ahead of HTTP traffic,'" said Phil Solis, an analyst for ABI Research, said of WMM. That ensures the quality of data, such as voice, that must be received in the same order in which it was sent.

Other interim specifications for QoS have long been available, such as one from voice-over-WLAN vendor SpectraLink, but Solis said WMM should supplant those specs.

"SpectraLink has said that it will adopt 802.11e," Solis said. "So it's almost certain SpectraLink will adopt WMM."

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