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Wi-Fi Alliance Announces Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Voice Personal Initiative

November 27, 2007

Today the Wi-Fi Alliance announced Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Voice-Personal, a new equipment interoperability and security standard for voice over Wi-Fi.

Going to the Wi-Fi Alliance site reveals a link that leads to a free registration form. When you complete this form, you are granted access to a 13-page PDF document describing the initiative in detail.

I've read through this document. Much of the concept for Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Voice-Personal is described in the document's Executive Summary.

Follow along with me and read the ES:

Voice over Wi-Fi allows users to make and receive voice calls over their Wi-Fi networks. It is rapidly gaining popularity as more voice-capable devices, such as dual-mode phones with cellular and Wi-Fi technology, become widely available. Growth in the widespread use of voice over Wi-Fi in the consumer market is expected to accelerate over the next few years, driven by the forthcoming availability of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED equipment that supports good voice quality.

A program currently being developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Voice-Personal, which is expected to be available in early 2008, will strengthen support for voice applications in Wi-Fi equipment. With certifications awarded to more than 140 phones for baseline interoperability and security, the Wi-Fi Alliance is seeing an increased focus on voice and multimedia applications across a wide range of product types.

The new voice certification program is a key step in the Alliance’s efforts to further enhance the Wi-Fi user experience.

The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Voice-Personal program is planned to test the performance of voice applications under real-life conditions that include both voice and data traffic streams, in network configurations that are common in home and small office environments. To achieve the planned certification, client devices and access points must perform above set thresholds for packet loss, latency and jitter, to help ensure good voice quality.

Products which have undergone the planned certification offer users, manufacturers, operators and application developers additional confidence that Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Voice-Personal products will support an improved and consistent experience of voice quality performance, while preserving interoperability with existing Wi-Fi CERTIFIED equipment. To take advantage of the enhanced support for voice applications, both the client device and the access point must be Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Voice-Personal.

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Voice-Personal will be an optional program open to client devices and access points that have already been Wi-Fi CERTIFIED for 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g or 802.11n draft 2.0; Wi-Fi Protected Access Personal (WPA/WPA2); Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM®); and WMM Power Save (required for access points, optional for client devices). Wi-Fi CERTIFIED products have undergone rigorous tests for interoperability and security that are defined by the Wi-Fi Alliance and executed by independent Authorized Test Laboratories.

The Wi-Fi Alliance plans to expand its support for voice applications in late 2008 with a Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Voice-Enterprise program. This planned program will support voice applications in larger enterprise-class networks, where voice users can roam across multiple access points while maintaining high voice quality and enterprise-class security.

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