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IEEE 802.11u

IEEE 802.11u-2011 is an amendment to the IEEE 802.11-2007 standard to add features that improve interworking with external networks.

802.11 is a family of IEEE technical standards for mobile communication devices such as laptop computers or multi-mode phones to join a wireless local area network (WLAN) widely used in the home, public hotspots and commercial establishments.

The IEEE 802.11u standard was published on February 25, 2011.

Some amendment added to IEEE 802.11
Network discovery and selection
  1. Provides for the discovery of suitable networks (preassociation) through the advertisement of access network type {private network, free public network, for-fee public network}, roaming consortium, and venue information.
  2. Generic Advertisement Service (GAS), which provides for Layer 2 transport of an advertisement protocol’s frames between a mobile device and a server in the network prior to authentication. The access point is responsible for the relay of a mobile device’s query to a server in the carrier’s network and for delivering the server’s response back to the mobile.
  3. Provides Access Network Query Protocol (ANQP), which is a query and response protocol used by a mobile device to discover a range of information, including the hotspot operator’s domain name (a globally unique, machine searchable data element); roaming partners accessible via the hotspot along with their credential type and EAP method supported for authentication; IP address type availability (for example, IPv4, IPv6); and other metadata useful in a mobile device’s network selection process.
QoS map distribution

This provides a mapping between the IP’s differentiated services code point (DSCP) to over-the-air Layer 2 priority on a per-device basis, facilitating end-to-end QoS.

For users who are not pre-authorized

IEEE 802.11 currently makes an assumption that a user's device is pre-authorized to use the network. IEEE 802.11u covers the cases where that device is not pre-authorized. A network will be able to allow access based on the user's relationship with an external network (e.g. hotspot roaming agreements), or indicate that online enrollment is possible, or allow access to a strictly limited set of services such as emergency services (client to authority and authority to client.)

From a user perspective, the aim is to improve the experience of a traveling user who turns on a laptop in a hotel many miles from home, or uses a mobile device to place a phone call. Instead of being presented with a long list of largely meaningless SSIDs the user could be presented with a list of networks, the services they provide, and the conditions under which the user could access them. 802.11u is central to the adoption of UMA and other approaches to network mobile devices.

Encourages mesh deployment

Because a relatively sophisticated set of conditions can be presented, arbitrary contracts could be presented to the user, and might include providing information on motive, demographics or geographic origin of the user. As such data is valuable to tourism promotion and other public functions, 802.11u is thought to motivate more extensive deployment of IEEE 802.11s mesh networks.

Mobile cellular network off-load to Wi-Fi

Mobile users, whose devices can move between 3G and Wi-Fi networks at a low level using 802.21 handoff, also need a unified and reliable way to authorize their access to all of those networks. 802.11u provides a common abstraction that all networks regardless of protocol can use to provide a common authentication experience.

Mandatory requirements

The IEEE 802.11u requirements specification contains requirements in the areas of enrollment, network selection, emergency call support, emergency alert notification, user traffic segmentation, and service advertisement.

Hotspot 2.0

The Wi-Fi Alliance uses IEEE 802.11u in its "Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint" program, also known as "Hotspot 2.0".[1] Apple devices running iOS 7 support Hotspot 2.0.[2] [3]


There have been proposals to use IEEE 802.11u for access points to signal that they allow EAP-TLS using only server-side authentication.[4] Unlike most TLS implementations of HTTPS, such as major web browsers, the majority of implementations of EAP-TLS require client-side X.509 certificates without giving the option to disable the requirement, even though the standard does not mandate their use, which some have identified as having the potential to dramatically reduce adoption of EAP-TLS and prevent "open" but encrypted access points.[5] [6]

See also
  1. Parrish, Kevin (23 February 2012). "Wi-Fi Passpoint Standard Will End Hotspot Sign-Ons". Tom's Guide. IDG News Service.
  2. Brodkin, Jon (11 June 2013). "iOS 7 will hop from one Wi-Fi hotspot to another, no password needed". Ars Technica.
  3. Tofel, Kevin C. (11 June 2013). "Apple iOS 7 supports Wi-Fi Hotspot 2.0 for next-gen network roaming". GigaOm.
  4. Byrd, Christopher (1 November 2011). "Open Secure Wireless 2.0". Retrieved 2017-05-04.
  5. Byrd, Christopher (5 May 2010). "Open Secure Wireless" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-05-04.
  6. RFC 5216: The EAP-TLS Authentication Protocol, Internet Engineering Task Force, March 2008, The certificate_request message is included when the server desires the peer to authenticate itself via public key. While the EAP server SHOULD require peer authentication, this is not mandatory, since there are circumstances in which peer authentication will not be needed (e.g., emergency services, as described in [UNAUTH]), or where the peer will authenticate via some other means.
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IEEE 802.11u


IEEE 802.11u-2011 is an amendment to the IEEE 802.11-2007 standard to add features that improve interworking with external networks. 802.11 is a family of IEEE technical standards for mobile communication devices such as laptop computers or multi-mode phones to join a wireless local area network (WLAN) widely used in the home, public hotspots and commercial establishments. The IEEE 802.11u standard was published on February 25, 2011. Some amendment added to IEEE 802.11 Network discovery and selection Provides for the discovery of suitable networks (preassociation) through the advertisement of access network type {private network, free public network, for-fee public network}, roaming consortium, and venue information. Generic Advertisement Service (GAS), which provides for Layer 2 transport of an advertisement protocol’s frames between a mobile device and a server in the network prior to authentication. The access point is responsible for the relay of a mobile device’s query to a server in the carrier’ ...more...

Generic Advertisement Service


Generic Advertisement Service (GAS): An IEEE 802.11u service that provides over-the-air transportation for frames of higher-layer advertisements between Wi-Fi stations (802.11 Stations) or between a server in an external network and a station. GAS may be used prior stations are authenticated, or associated to a wireless Access Point (AP) in a Basic Service Set (BSS). GAS supports higher-layer protocols that employ a query/response mechanism. In a BSS infrastructure, the purpose of Generic Advertisement Service (GAS) is to enable a station to identify the availability of information related to network services. While the specification of network services information is out of scope of IEEE 802.11, there is a need for stations to query for information on network services provided by SSPNs or other external networks beyond an AP (Access Point) before they associate to the wireless LAN. GAS defines a generic container to advertise network services information over an IEEE 802.11 network. Public Action frames are ...more...

IEEE 802.11w-2009


IEEE 802.11w-2009 is an approved amendment to the IEEE 802.11 standard to increase the security of its management frames. Protected management frames Current 802.11 standard defines "frame" types for use in management and control of wireless links. IEEE 802.11w is the Protected Management Frames standard for the IEEE 802.11 family of standards. TGw is working on improving the IEEE 802.11 Medium Access Control layer. The objective of this is to increase the security by providing data confidentiality of management frames, mechanisms that enable data integrity, data origin authenticity, and replay protection. These extensions interact with IEEE 802.11r and IEEE 802.11u. Overview Single and unified solution needed for all IEEE 802.11 Protection-capable Management Frames. It uses the existing security mechanisms rather than creating new security scheme or new management frame format. It is an optional feature in 802.11 and is required for 802.11 implementations that support TKIP or CCMP. Its use is optiona ...more...

Mobile VoIP


Mobile VoIP or simply mVoIP is an extension of mobility to a Voice over IP network. Two types of communication are generally supported: cordless/DECT/PCS protocols for short range or campus communications where all base stations are linked into the same LAN, and wider area communications using 3G/4G protocols. There are several methodologies that allow a mobile handset to be integrated into a VoIP network. One implementation turns the mobile device into a standard SIP client, which then uses a data network to send and receive SIP messaging, and to send and receive RTP for the voice path. This methodology of turning a mobile handset into a standard SIP client requires that the mobile handset support, at minimum, high speed IP communications. In this application, standard VoIP protocols (typically SIP) are used over any broadband IP-capable wireless network connection such as EVDO rev A (which is symmetrical high speed — both high speed up and down), HSPA, Wi-Fi or WiMAX. Another implementation of mobile inte ...more...

IEEE 802.11r-2008


IEEE 802.11r-2008 or fast BSS transition (FT), also called fast roaming, is an amendment to the IEEE 802.11 standard to permit continuous connectivity aboard wireless devices in motion, with fast and secure handoffs from one base station to another managed in a seamless manner. It was published on July 15, 2008. IEEE 802.11r-2008 was rolled up into 802.11-2012. Rationale for the amendment 802.11, commonly referred to as Wi-Fi, is widely used for wireless communications. Many deployed implementations have effective ranges of only a few hundred meters, so, to maintain communications, devices in motion that use it will need to handoff from one access point to another. In an automotive environment, this could easily result in a handoff every five to ten seconds. Handoffs are already supported under the preexisting standard. The fundamental architecture for handoffs is identical for 802.11 with and without 802.11r: the mobile device is entirely in charge of deciding when to hand off and to which access point i ...more...

IEEE 802.11s


IEEE 802.11s is Wireless LAN standard and an IEEE 802.11 amendment for mesh networking, defining how wireless devices can interconnect to create a WLAN mesh network, which may be used for relatively fixed (not mobile) topologies and wireless ad hoc networks. The IEEE 802.11a working group taps on volunteers from universities and industries to provide specifications and possible design solutions for wireless mesh networking. As a standard, the document was iterated and revised many times prior to finalization. 802.11 is a set of IEEE standards that govern wireless networking transmission methods. They are commonly used today in their 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n and 802.11ac versions to provide wireless connectivity in the home, office and some commercial establishments. Description 802.11s extends the IEEE 802.11 MAC standard by defining an architecture and protocol that supports both broadcast/multicast and unicast delivery using "radio-aware metrics over self-configuring multi-hop topologies." Cl ...more...

Carrier Ethernet


Carrier Ethernet is a marketing term for extensions to Ethernet to enable telecommunications network providers to provide Ethernet services to customers and to utilize Ethernet technology in their networks. Background Ethernet has a long history. It has become dominant in enterprise networks. This dominance has led to high production-volume components, which in turn have allowed extremely low cost per bit. Likewise Ethernet has a long history of re-inventing itself. From the original copper coaxial cable format ("thicknet") it has extended its scope to nearly all copper, optical fiber and wireless physical media. Bit rates have continued to increase, traditionally growing tenfold each time a new rate is defined. Gigabit Ethernet interfaces are widely deployed in PCs and servers, and 10 Gbit/s in local area network (LAN) backbones. Rates up to 100 Gigabit Ethernet were standardized in 2010 and 2011. Ethernet's dominance is partly attributed to the simple advantages for the industry of adopting a single sta ...more...

Hotspot (Wi-Fi)


A diagram showing a Wi-Fi network A hotspot is a physical location where people may obtain Internet access, typically using Wi-Fi technology, via a wireless local area network (WLAN) using a router connected to an internet service provider. Public hotspots may be created by a business for use by customers, such as coffee shops or hotels. Public hotspots are typically created from wireless access points configured to provide Internet access, controlled to some degree by the venue. In its simplest form, venues that have broadband Internet access can create public wireless access by configuring an access point (AP), in conjunction with a router and connecting the AP to the Internet connection. A single wireless router combining these functions may suffice. Private hotspots may be configured on a smartphone or tablet with a mobile network data plan to allow Internet access to other devices via Bluetooth pairing or if both the hotspot device and the device/s accessing it are connected to the same Wi-Fi network ...more...

Extensible Authentication Protocol


Extensible Authentication Protocol, or EAP, is an authentication framework frequently used in wireless networks and point-to-point connections. It is defined in RFC 3748, which made RFC 2284 obsolete, and is updated by RFC 5247. EAP is an authentication framework for providing the transport and usage of keying material and parameters generated by EAP methods. There are many methods defined by RFCs and a number of vendor specific methods and new proposals exist. EAP is not a wire protocol; instead it only defines message formats. Each protocol that uses EAP defines a way to encapsulate EAP messages within that protocol's messages. EAP is in wide use. For example, in IEEE 802.11 (WiFi) the WPA and WPA2 standards have adopted IEEE 802.1X with one hundred EAP Types as the official authentication mechanisms. Methods EAP is an authentication framework, not a specific authentication mechanism. It provides some common functions and negotiation of authentication methods called EAP methods. There are currently abo ...more...

Generic Access Network


Generic Access Network or GAN is a telecommunication system that extends mobile voice, data and multimedia (IMS/SIP) applications over IP networks. Unlicensed Mobile Access or UMA, is the commercial name used by mobile carriers for external IP access into their core networks. The latest generation system is named Wi-Fi Calling by a number of handset manufacturers, including Apple and Samsung, a move that is being mirrored by carriers like T-Mobile US and Vodafone. Essentially, GAN allows cell phone packets to be forwarded to a network access point over the internet, rather than over-the-air using GSM/GPRS, UMTS or similar. A separate device known as a "GAN Controller" (GANC) receives this data from the internet and feeds it into the phone network as if it were coming from an antenna on a tower. Calls can be placed from or received to the handset as if it were connected over-the-air directly to the GANC's point of presence. The system is essentially invisible to the network as a whole. In its most common for ...more...

IEEE 802.11


For comparison, this Netgear dual-band router from 2013 uses the AC standard, capable of transmitting 1900 megabits per second (combined). IEEE 802.11 is a set of media access control (MAC) and physical layer (PHY) specifications for implementing wireless local area network (WLAN) computer communication in the 900 MHz and 2.4, 3.6, 5, and 60 GHz frequency bands. They are created and maintained by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) LAN/MAN Standards Committee (IEEE 802). The base version of the standard was released in 1997, and has had subsequent amendments. The standard and amendments provide the basis for wireless network products using the Wi-Fi brand. While each amendment is officially revoked when it is incorporated in the latest version of the standard, the corporate world tends to market to the revisions because they concisely denote capabilities of their products. As a result, in the marketplace, each revision tends to become its own standard. General description The 802 ...more...

IEEE 802.21


The IEEE 802.21 refers to Media Independent Handoff (MIH) and is an IEEE standard published in 2008. The standard supports algorithms enabling seamless handover between wired and wireless networks of the same type as well as handover between different wired and wireless network types also called Media independent handover (MIH) or vertical handover. Vertical handover was first introduced by Mark Stemn and Randy Katz at U C Berkeley . The standard provides information to allow handing over to and from wired 802.3 network to wireless 802.11, 802.15, 802.16, 3GPP and 3GPP2 networks through different handover mechanisms. The IEEE 802.21 working group started work in March 2004. More than 30 companies have joined the working group. The group produced a first draft of the standard including the protocol definition in May 2005. The standard was published January 2009. Reasons for 802.21 Cellular networks and 802.11 networks employ handover mechanisms for handover within the same network type (aka horizontal hand ...more...

Media-independent handover


Media Independent Handover (MIH) is a standard being developed by IEEE 802.21 to enable the handover of IP sessions from one layer 2 access technology to another, to achieve mobility of end user devices(MIH). Importance The importance of MIH derives from the fact that a diverse range of broadband wireless access technologies is available and in course of development, including GSM, UMTS, CDMA2000, WiMAX, Mobile-Fi and WPANs. Multimode wireless devices that incorporate more than one of these wireless interfaces require the ability to switch among them during the course of an IP session, and devices such as laptops with Ethernet and wireless interfaces need to switch similarly between wired and wireless access. Handover may be required, e.g. because a mobile device experiences a degradation in the radio signal, or because an access point experiences a heavy traffic load. Functionality The key functionality provided by MIH is communication among the various wireless layers and between them and the IP layer ...more...

Backhaul (telecommunications)


In a hierarchical telecommunications network the backhaul portion of the network comprises the intermediate links between the core network, or backbone network, and the small subnetworks at the "edge" of the entire hierarchical network. In contracts pertaining to such networks, backhaul is the obligation to carry packets to and from that global network. A non-technical business definition of backhaul is the commercial wholesale bandwidth provider who offers quality of service (QOS) guarantees to the retailer. It appears most often in telecommunications trade literature in this sense, whereby the backhaul connection is defined not technically but by who operates and manages it, and who takes legal responsibility for the connection or uptime to the Internet or 3G/4G network. See also hotspot contracts below. In both the technical and commercial definitions, backhaul generally refers to the side of the network that communicates with the global Internet, paid for at wholesale commercial access rates to or at an ...more...

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