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New task group to consider needs for IEEE 802.11 wireless local area network (WLAN) technology to support general transit links within bridged networks

Shuang Yu, Senior Manager, Solutions Marketing
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PISCATAWAY, N.J., USA, 11 July 2013 - IEEE, the world's largest professional organization advancing technology for humanity, today announced the creation of the IEEE 802.11ak™ General Link (GLK) Task Group to explore the scope and purpose of a possible, future amendment to the IEEE 802.11™ standard to enhance IEEE 802.11 links for transit use in bridged networks. The new task group will look at the potential and needs of IEEE 802.11 links to support home entertainment systems, industrial control equipment and other new products and applications that have both an IEEE 802.11 wireless station capability and a wired IEEE 802.3™ “Standard for Ethernet” capability.

IEEE 802.11 defines the technology for the world’s premier wireless local area network (WLAN) products. IEEE 802.11-based products are often branded as “Wi-Fi®” in the market. IEEE 802.11 standards underpin wireless networking applications around the world, such as wireless access to the Internet from offices, homes, airports, hotels, restaurants, trains and aircraft. IEEE 802.11’s relevance continues to expand with the emergence of new applications, such as the smart grid, wireless docking and the “Internet of Things.”

IEEE 802.11 has media operating in the gigabit per second range and has standardized security and quality of service improvements. These developments raise a demand for the bridging of IEEE 802.11 media with the same bridging services as other media: as media internal to the network, as well as media offering access to the network.

GLK aims to substantially increase the utility of the wireless connection between IEEE 802.11 access points and associated wireless stations by removing previous limitation of such connections to the edge of the network. Instead, such connections will be usable as general transit links in the interior of bridged networks.

Vendors, users, administrators, designers, customers, systems integrators, consultant organizations, academic institutions and owners of mixed IEEE 802.11 wireless and other IEEE 802® networks, as well as other interested individuals globally, are invited to participate in the development work. The IEEE 802.11ak General Link (GLK) Task Group meets during IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN Working Group meetings, the schedule for which can be found at external link For more information about the IEEE 802.11ak task group and about the IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN Working Group, visit external link

Deployment of technology defined by IEEE 802 standards is already globally pervasive, driven by the ever-growing needs of networks around the world. New application areas are constantly being considered that might leverage the IEEE 802 family of standards in their networks. To better address the needs of all of these areas, IEEE 802 standards are constantly evolving and expanding. The success of IEEE 802 standards—from their inception through today—has been their fair, open and transparent development process.

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About the IEEE Standards Association
The IEEE Standards Association, a globally recognized standards-setting body within IEEE, develops consensus standards through an open process that engages industry and brings together a broad stakeholder community. IEEE standards set specifications and best practices based on current scientific and technological knowledge. The IEEE-SA has a portfolio of over 900 active standards and more than 500 standards under development. For more information visit the IEEE-SA Web site.

About IEEE
IEEE, a large, global technical professional organization, is dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the trusted voice on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. Learn more at the IEEE Web site. external link

1 IEEE P802.11ak™ “Draft Standard for Information technology--Telecommunications and information exchange between systems Local and metropolitan area networks--Specific requirements Part 11: Wireless LAN Medium Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY) Specifications Amendment: General Link”

2 IEEE 802.11™-2012 “Standard for Information technology--Telecommunications and information exchange between systems Local and metropolitan area networks--Specific requirements Part 11: Wireless LAN Medium Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY) Specifications”