Wi-Fi Alliance targets high-density networks with upgrades to Vantage certification

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Large, high-density Wi-Fi networks will be able to deliver better performance after the Wi-Fi Alliance added two new features to its light-touch access technology.

Wi-Fi Vantage was launched by the Alliance in 2016 as a specification for vendors to offer higher quality services than conventional networks. It already includes Passpoint, which supports secure, light-touch authentication, and ac, which delivers gigabit data rates.

The first of the new features, Wi-Fi Agile Multiband, is designed to maximise spectral efficiency, minimise wireless traffic congestion and improve device connection speeds. It uses advanced steering capabilities to guide devices to the most optimal access point.

The upgrade will prevent devices from remaining attached to an access point when it is out of range or overloaded with traffic. The Alliance said the technology would also allow more efficient handover between Wi-Fi and cellular. Users will be able to quickly reauthenticate with WPA2 security when roaming within the network.

It is available for compatible devices from today.

Wi-Fi Optimised Connectivity, the second of the new features, will launch in late 2017 and provides more efficient sessions by improving discoverability of Wi-Fi networks, establishing connectivity and roaming between access points.

The features prioritise which channels a device scans when discovering networks. Devices automatically receive environmental data from access points, allowing them to authenticate more quickly.

Edgar Figueroa, CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance, said: “Wi-Fi Vantage provides a better user experience with Wi-Fi devices in rapidly changing environments, such as when moving to a new gate in an airport or stepping onto a busy subway platform.”

Philippe Lucas, SVP Strategy, Architecture & Standardisation at Orange, said: “Wi-Fi Vantage brings new tools to improve the user experience in managed Wi-Fi networks. It provides a standardised approach to deliver consistency, more manageability and higher performance to Wi-Fi devices from service providers for managed home networks, airports, stadiums and other scenarios.”

In June, the Wi-Fi Alliance introduced a new certification program to ensure connectivity for houses built from scratch.