A specification that should improve the quality of voice and video on wireless Lans has received approval from the IEEE standards body.
The IEEE has approved the 802.11e specification, which aims to deliver technologies for prioritising traffic and preventing packet collisions and delays when a network is carrying mixed traffic.
This should improve the experience of users making voice over IP calls and watching video over wireless Lans.
The first WiFi-enabled phones are now appearing on the market. Zultys Technologies is shipping a range to support voice over wireless Lans next month, and Avaya and Nokia are set to jointly launch their own solutions next January.
Currently, wireless Lans based on the 802.11 series of platforms usually see all users share the network's capacity, with no packet of data given priority over any other.
This isn't usually a problem with basic data applications such as sending and receiving e-mail and surfing the web, but voice and video packets have to reach their destination at precisely the right time. If adopted by equipment makers, the new 802.11e standard will help ensure that they do.