Written by Dennis Huang and Mark Hamilton
Wi-Fi® is rapidly exceeding its initial origins as a ‘best-effort’ wireless endeavor as it evolves into a deterministic networking technology that frequently mirrors characteristics found in cellular networks, at a fraction of the deployment costs and operating complexity. This is due to operators who view Wi-Fi as a managed network to leverage and increase consumer expectations for ubiquitous Wi-Fi that is both fast and reliable.
However, Wi-Fi wasn’t originally designed to optimize performance beyond the access point (AP) and the devices connected to it. This is precisely why Wi-Fi Alliance® introduced its Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Vantage™ and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Vantage Release 2 certification programs, which makes it easier for users to select network devices that provide the best Wi-Fi experience in airports, stadiums, offices, campuses, retail locations, and service provider-managed residential networks.
Advantages of Wi-Fi Certified Vantage
Indeed, Wi-Fi Vantage™ devices offer features that provide secure, light touch access to Wi-Fi networks, as well as mechanisms for the efficient use of spectrum and network resources in densely populated, dynamic environments. This means Wi-Fi network administrators using certified Wi-Fi Vantage products can deliver an optimal user experience with seamless and secure connections, increase throughput, and allow more devices to operate on the same network.
In simple terms, Wi-Fi Vantage can be thought of as a quality of service (QoS) certification, analogous to the automotive world’s introduction of the automatic transmission, to make Wi-Fi network infrastructure easy to manage. It smooths the workings of balancing client load on APs and on specific frequency bands. Wi-Fi Vantage also standardizes how AP and client communication can shift to another band or AP and formalizes client steering between cellular and Wi-Fi networks.
Wi-Fi Vantage is playing a major role in helping Wi-Fi transition from a ‘best-effort’ endeavor to a deterministic wireless technology that is now the de-facto medium for internet connectivity. This is why we are proud to be an active part of the Wi-Fi Vantage community – and even more excited to announce that the Wi-Fi Alliance has certified our T811 access point and SmartZone 100 network controller, making them among the industry’s first products certified for Wi-Fi Vantage Release 2, which include new features that further enhance Wi-Fi performance in managed networks. New features were added to the Wi-Fi Vantage certification program last year, and were intended to help network operators deliver higher network efficiency, as well as ensuring they were easy to set-up and deliver quality Wi-Fi connections even in congested carrier environments, such as those found in airports, train stations, stadiums, campuses, and community Wi-Fi networks.
Consumers now expect ubiquitous Wi-Fi that is fast and reliable wherever they go. At Ruckus, we develop technology that delivers seamless connectivity and great user experiences no matter how challenging the environment. Our recent Wi-Fi Vantage Release 2 certifications illustrate how Wi-Fi Vantage can successfully meet operator demand to improve wireless performance in dense and crowded locations and consumer demand for consistently fast and reliable Wi-Fi.