Technology will allow Wi-Fi devices to avoid APs

Handsets and other mobile devices will soon be on the market that can to talk to each other and avoid congesting access points with new technology.

The Wi-Fi Alliance, an  industry organization that helps spread Wi-Fi technology, says it has started a program for certifying end points that can use technology called Tunneled Direct Link Setup (TDLS).

TDLS-enabled devices can automatically create a secure direct link between each other after accessing a Wi-Fi network. In that way, the alliance said, data doesn’t have to go through an AP.

A wide-range of office and consumer devices will have the TDLS technology built-in through chipsets. Access points won’t have to be upgraded.

“The new TDLS certification program will improve the user experience with advanced applications such as media streaming, without requiring user intervention,” Kelly Davis-Felner, marketing director of the Wi-Fi Alliance said in a release.

The release didn’t say whether there are devices currently on the market or about to be released have the capability.

Zeus Kerravala, an industry analyst with ZK Research, said enterprises should be pleased the capability is coming.

The corporate movement to bring-your-own-device means in office areas where there are lots of Wi-Fi devices, wireless performance “goes to crap.”
Creating direct links between devices lowers the load on access points, he said.

This is a big problem, Kerravala added: There are projections that the number Wi-Fi end points will outnumber access points by six times three to five years from now. That will mean trouble for even for organizations who won’t be increasing staff.

In its release the alliance said TDLS will give increased Wi-Fi network performance, will be secure and fast: TDLS-linked devices will use the highest-performance technology common to them, even if the network’s AP only supports a lower-bandwidth form of Wi-Fi.

The alliance also says devices using a TDLS connection should save batter power.

TDLS is different from Wi-Fi Direct, which connects capable devices without a Wi-Fi network. Many devices will be certified for both, says the alliance.
The first four products certified by the alliance – all for testing devices – are Broadcom’s Dual-Band 11n Half MiniPCI card; Marvell’s Avastar 88W8787 Wireless Chipset;

Ralink’s 802.11 a/b/g/n Dual Band Station and Realtek 2X2 a/b/g/n miniCard Reference Design.

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