IEEE Publishes IEEE 802.11aq Standard to Enhance Wireless Service Discovery

IEEE and the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) have approved and published the IEEE 802.11aq standard, which is an amendment to existing IEEE 802.11. It addresses the discovery of available services in Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs), benefiting network operators and end users alike.

Connecting to a WLAN without first being able to easily discover whether a given service is supported by that network is often a source of frustration for end users. The IEEE 802.11aq amendment mitigates these situations by permitting users to quickly determine what services are available prior to actually connecting their devices. It also delivers a critical competitive advantage through service differentiation in crowded market environments.

Approved in June 2018, the IEEE 802.11aq amendment specifies parameters for pre-association queries between wireless networks and devices. By facilitating a rich exchange of information between the wireless access point and the user’s device, users can swiftly and effortlessly discover what types of services are supported before making the decision to connect. Simplifying the service discovery process streamlines the network selection process, thereby elevating the end user experience.

Storing and caching available services with access points permits operators to differentiate their service offerings from those of market competitors in the same locality, opening the door to potential revenue generation opportunities.