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Live from CTIA: QoS, WMM PowerSave necessary for VoWiFi consumer acceptance

I'm here in Las Vegas, blogging live from the CTIA-Wireless Association show.The first panel, entitled "Voice Over Wi-Fi" Putting the Puzzle Together," is examining interoperability issues between voice and Wi-Fi platforms, networks and applications.
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Written by Russell Shaw on
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I'm here in Las Vegas, blogging live from the CTIA-Wireless Association show.

The first panel, entitled "Voice Over Wi-Fi" Putting the Puzzle Together," is examining interoperability issues between voice and Wi-Fi platforms, networks and applications.

The overriding expectation that comes out of this panel is that Voice over WiFi is in the early stage of early adoption.

Kathy Small, Wireless & Mobility Market Manager for Cisco Systems said that Voice Over WiFi is starting to be adopted in the enterprise, especially for highly mobile workers "where the company would not want to pay for cellular minutes." They are kind of bubbling up from different directions, and there may be a space for each (flavor of VoWiFi)..

Small was far less confident in the consumer market. She said the U.S. is lagging behind Asia Pacific in terms of VoWiFi for consumer use. She held out hope that the forthcoming 802.11n standard would create such a powerful incentive for consumer acceptance that it would give consumer VoWiFi a kickstart.

Joe Epstein, Chief Architect-Engineer, Meru Networks added that the key advances that consumer VoWiFi needs are more QoS-certified products, as well as handsets certified with the WMM (Wi-Fi Multimedia) Power Save The big thing in my nnd what you need in the consumer space is quality of service. and Power Save. Those are pretty much the key to the home.  

According to the CTIA, WMM Power Save is a set of features for Wi-Fi networks that increase the effficiency and flexibility of data transmission. Specifically, the client device can "doze" between packets to save power, while the access point buffers downlink frames. The application chooses the time to wake up and receive data packets to maximize power conservation without sacrificing Quality of Service.

Frank Hanzlik, Wi-Fi Alliance Managing Director, sees progress: 

"In 2005, more than 100 million Wi-Fi chipsets were shipped," he noted.

We're really starting to see expansion beyond the core PC into smart devices. This is exciting for data and multimedia applications. From laptops to cameras to game consoles-even player pianos Wi-Fi technology is tranformingt he way we live and play

"One of the things you will see on the (CTIA exhibition) floor for the first time is a variety of these converged devices, that have wi-fi and some kind of wide area wireless technology," he said. "If you look at these phones, you see a blend, some phones are smart phones, others look quite different.

"The vision is really one seamless mobility between wi fi and mobile networks, voip over WiFi QoS with power save tools, (with solutions that can offer) reduced cost and better in building coverage," Hanzlik added.

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