A specification that should improve the quality of voice and video data on wireless local area networks has received approval from the IEEE.
The standards body has approved the 802.11e specification, which aims to deliver a set of 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 Wi-Fi-enabled phones are now appearing, with Zultys Technologies due to launch phones that support voice over wireless Lans next month, and Avaya and Nokia planning products for launch in January.
Wireless Lans based on the established 802.11 standards usually have all users sharing network capacity, with no packet of data getting priority over another.
This is not a problem with applications such as e-mail and surfing the web, but voice and video data packets have to reach their destination at precisely the right time. The 802.11e standard should help ensure that they do.