802.11r ratification boosts wireless IP telephony

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Voice over Wireless Lan should enjoy better quality following IEEE ratification of the 802.11r standard which was released in July with little fanfare.

Enterprises currently dissatisfied with wireless IP telephony should think again, according to the IEEE, since the 802.11r standard will allow Wi-Fi kit to roam much more quickly between access points than current 802.11a/b/g/n hardware.

Such an improvement would benefit VoIP calls being made through wireless networks, as well as video conferencing.

The new IEEE standard, also known as 'Fast Basic Service Set Transition', aims to reduce access points handoff time to well under 50ms, compared to the current 100ms.

Extended handoff times can lead to significantly degraded voice calls. When the wireless connection is encrypted using Wi-Fi Protected Access or WPA2 these handoff times lengthen to seconds.

However, questions remain as to how long vendors will take to market wireless kit supporting 802.11r.
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