QoS Management and Wi-Fi Alliance | An Interview with Consuelo Ortiz

Keith sat down to catch up with Consuelo Ortiz about the latest updates from Wi-Fi Alliance – specifically about QoS.

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QoS Management and Wi-Fi Alliance Transcripts:

Keith (00:00):
Welcome. Hi, my name’s Keith Parsons. And today we have with us Consuelo Ortiz from the Wi-Fi Alliance Consuelo how are you doing?

Consuelo (00:08):
I’m doing great. We survived. The chilly temperatures in Texas and life is now getting back to normal.

Keith (00:13):
Chilly. Oh, you mean just normal winter?

Consuelo (00:16):
No, we, we had like Arctic cold, a lot of frozen pipes and we were under below zero for like 450 hours consecutively.

Keith (00:26):
Like I said, a normal winter. I don’t think you were ready for that stuff in Texas. Well, you have something new for us. One of the things about the Wi-Fi Alliance is over the last almost 20 years now.

The Wi-Fi Alliance has been building and adding new test routines, new ways of making Wi-Fi better. Today Consuelo has with us a new way to make Wi-Fi better and it has to do with QoS.

Can you share us, share with us what you’re doing with QoS now?

Consuelo (00:59):
That is correct. So I work for Wi-Fi Alliance, which is a group of company that brings your Wi-Fi. Today I’m going to talk a little bit about what we do, because I know you like that. Also I want to focus on Quality of Experience and mentioned, UA program that we just launched that is called, QoS Management.

We’ll elude to another two programs that were recently announced that also help enhance that quality of experience. Okay, I first want to start by saying that even though we were in the middle of a pandemic, 2020 was a good year for Wi-Fi. The propagation of Wi-Fi device, devices was not diminished at all.

During the pandemic, Wi-Fi came along and became the foundation to support a lot of the remote working, remote learning, remote healthcare, anything, and everything that he had to do from home, because we were in the pandemic and the number of devices that are you have been deployed cumulative.

Consuelo (02:07):
The ones that are currently in existence are continued to grow. We have 16 billion units in use right now. I want to talk a little bit about Wi-Fi Alliance and what we do and does give alluded. We’re always working to bring new capabilities to the industry in order to provide you the high-performance, the security D the quantitative experience support with regulatory and always open new frontiers.

So right now we have Wi-Fi six and Wi-Fi six E that provide a foundation to marry current and emerging use cases. You know, Wi-Fi 60 extends the benefits into 60 gigahertz, which is great. Allows is for 14 additional 80 megahertz channels and seven extra wide, 160 minute challenge channels, which will be great for the industry.

On that slide, we also mentioned Wi-Fi halo based on dot age and something that I don’t know if you are aware of, but it’s a feature releases. That means that we have a consistent cadence of yearly releases for either new programs or enhancements to existing programs.

That’s something that we started a couple of years ago, and I don’t think that we have advertised it as widely in industry. So they be calling feature.

Keith (03:35):
I have a question for you on that. So I I’ve noticed you come out with new things. I never noticed that they were actually on a specific cadence. Do they come out in the spring of every year? What’s the timing that’s around us. I know there’s new stuff.

Consuelo (03:50):
Yeah. They typically comes at the end of a year, which is a terrible time to, for things to come out because we’re all thinking about Christmas holidays. But that’s when certification start and then the public announcements start coming out sometimes in December and sometimes January, February, March.

Those are the announcements that we’re currently seeing right now. Okay. So that is a very important, because you did guarantees that cadence of new features of course. That FYS are in their own big box and they are released and made available whenever they’re ready.

So that’s the only exception to that rule. We have a cadence of security releases and we have WPA three, which is the next generation of security. It was made mandatory for Wi-Fi six from the beginning that is in 2019. It is mandatory for all devices that were certified after. I think it was July, 2020.

So every new certification now includes WPA three. Of course, we have legal legacy devices that is still have WPA too, but we’re hoping that with the refresh cycles. All of that will be taken care of very quickly.

Keith (05:06):
What’s the difference within the Wi-Fi licenses, certifications between something that’s mandatory and non mandatory?

You mentioned WPA three is now mandatory moving forward. How do you determine which things fit on? What side of that line?

Consuelo (05:20):
Okay. A lot of the programs that we have, for example, for optimization are optional programs. So on those social programs are in our portfolio to enable manufacturers of devices to differentiate the products based on the market segments that they are going after.

So we do have a series of programs that are better suited for managed Wi-Fi networks. We have a group of them. We have problems that may be better for automotive or for healthcare or for residential Wi-Fi.

Keith (05:54):
But mandatory means they go across the board?

Consuelo (05:58):
Mandatory. That means any new Phy or any new device that receives a certification, no matter which one has to comply to that.

That applies to security. So let’s say I want to certify a new product for Passpoint. It should include WPA3 because WPA3 is mandatory for all certifications in Wi-Fi Alliance.

Keith (06:26):
So this new QoS you’ll be talking to us about, is it in the mandatory or optional?

Consuelo (06:30):
Qos is an optional program when optional programs become adopted by the industry, for example. What happened with WMM?

I’m going to be talking about WMM today it becomes assimilated, or it becomes a prerequisite of a particular Phy therefore becomes mainstream.

Keith (06:51):
It just takes a little while for that to, to catch on?

Consuelo (06:53):
It takes depending on the program. Yes, it may take a while and also there may be programs that we do not want to make mandatory because they were designed for a particular segment.

Keith (07:06):
Makes sense.

Consuelo (07:08):
Okay. Keith, and remember I’m from Colombia. I speak very fast when I’m getting excited about my programs. I speak even faster. So please remind me because I tend to do that a lot.

Keith (07:21):
It’s. Okay. Most people can hear fast, so go ahead,

Consuelo (07:25):
Okay. I need to pace myself. Okay.

So today we’re going to be talking about Quality of Experience, which is the thumbs up on the slide. That is features that may help with enhanced mobility fast roaming network intelligence out.

Of course today, our presentation is more focused onQoS features. Wi-Fi Alliance also invests a lot of time and resources in regulatory and that’s advocating for new spectrum and for anything and everything that would make Wi-Fi more successful in the industry. We always have our new frontiers and these are things that are coming like five integration with a fifth generation networks. We have added features for new programs, new Phys 60 gigahertz, for example, comes to mind.

We also have what is it? DF Sensing. I remember that you guys like the alphabet soup and I sometimes it doesn’t come easy.

Consuelo (08:35):
We’re also looking into 11ac which is positioning of course BD and BE out in the mirror in the telescope. So there are more things that will be coming and we will continue to evolve.

But as I said before today, I want to concentrate on the quality of experience and talk about a few programs and that relate to QoS. So you guys know better than I. That some applications can tolerate traffic delays, jitter, a certain degree of traffic laws but others can and others cannot.

So, quality of QoS is really needed when we’re talking about non elastic applications. Those that are latency sensitive.

For example, video conferencing and where those applications in order to really work properly, they need to have priority over applications that are more forgiving, and that can better tolerate delay on congestion, like email, web browsing and so forth. But for a Quality of Service to work the client device, the application, the operating system and the wireless network need to recognize the elements of that QoS treatment in their configurations.

Consuelo (10:01):
So for those that have long memories and some of us do a while back it IEEE introduced extensions specific to Wi-Fi in 802.11e.

They were adopted by Wi-Fi Alliance in a program that we called a Wi-Fi Multimedia and came out in 2004 this program. As I mentioned before, is widely adopted. It was made mandatory meaning assimilated or made a prerequisite of all Phys starting with Wi-Fi. So it’s awhile back.

What WMM does is it provides prioritized media access based on EDCA and has distributed channel access. WMM defined for access categories, voice, video, best effort and background that are mapped into separate queues. So traffic flows are classified into these categories using what we know of us user priorities.

Which I think, were initially defining 11d?

I don’t remember for sure. But each access category then contends for the medium using the same rules. But the difference is that they employ different channel access parameters and using these parameters. EDCA can guarantee performance differentiation among the different categories.

Now talking about our new program Wi-Fi certified QoS management.

Keith (11:47):
Consuselo. Could you just back up to the old one that WMM first one of the issues with the way contention works in Wi-Fi. Is you can’t guarantee that a higher priority will get through you just give them a statistically higher chance of getting through. Unlike, you know, in wired network you could actually starve a queue if you had something else there.

So is that one of the things that this new QoS is going to go going to address?

Consuelo (12:17):
No, we can’t. I mean, Wi-Fi goes up under wireless. So we have our own issues because of that. We guarantee a level of performance and a differentiated performance based on the category. What we want to do with this new program is to start the standardized some of those parameters. Also we added additional features in order.

For example, applications to request QS treatments. As you continue Wi-Fi certified cures management was certification that was first announced February this year. We introduced new features. And what we want you to do is add a consistent approach to cures treatment across networks.

So this program is important because I mean defined the extensions for Wi-Fi. But it did not include a standardization on how to consistently map between wired and Wi-Fi networks. This alignment between wire and wireless is critical.

Consuelo (13:26):
We have seen that is not the case in the industry by default. So we have seen inconsistencies on how DSCP markings are mapped into the Wi-Fi user priorities.

So the first thing that QoS management did is address that and come up with a standardized way. So QS management adopted RFC fit 83, 25 as the full mapping from DSCP to user priorities. That reconciled the markings between IATF and I to believe. So that’s the first step and it’s IFC 83, 25.

I believe is widely recognized by the industry. And it already represents an agreement among industry players on how those mappings have to be applied. But we don’t, we can’t stop there because different organizations have different priorities. They want to do different things.

So, in addition to this standardized standardizing on the default mapping QS added a feature that is called QoS map and cures map was first defined in 11 U. I believe is it also included in PassPoint to a certain extent and it enables administrators to configure non-default mapping tables into client devices and APS when they think they need to.

Consuelo (15:06):
So, this QoS map feature now test it in this certification could be used to change the prioritization of flows which are mopping certain ways. Also our for mapping on non-standard DSCP values to be a specified and to be a specified all of these under the control of the network administrator.

So that gives there’s going to be straight, or the ability to implement a specific policies that are required in a organization. And then once they’re configured, they can be pushed out to the client and devices using typical eight 11 signaling either association or after association.

The second feature that we added is a MI road stream classification, MSCs. This is where application or inclined devices can’t request a specific us treatment to the AP they’re associated with.

Keith (16:17):
And did they, do, did they make that request? The application normally talks down the stack to the Nick in the client device, or is there a new way to transport that information to the AP and then the AP will trigger it?

Consuelo (16:32):
The AP would Miro. So, let me explain a bit more. So what we wanted was to have for those applications that did some sort of discerning treatment as mobile gaming videoconferencing, AR VR, to have the ability to request differentiated treatment.

This is particularly of use in networks like residential or guest networks, where there may not be the DSCP markets may not exist for English froze downlink coming from Republic, public internet, and or they are not mapped at all.

So, the PR the new program provides a way for clients and applications to get the app, to map flows on the right curious treatment. And rather than adding the complexity for the clients to understand IP templates to make the request.

We introduce this mural in a mechanism that was defined in rev MD, and this mechanism allows the application in a client device to send flows in the app link with what they want using the right access categories and user priorities. And they P the Miros, the corresponding IP flows are flipping the source and destination. If I could say that on the downlink using what whatever treatment that was defined by the client on the downlink.

Keith (18:12):
So an applicant on the phone would have to talk to the client and the client’s Wi-Fi. Nick needs to meet this queue management standard, and then it could listen to that and forward it onto the yeah.

Consuelo (18:25):
Yes, that’s correct. So there are many applications that we know are now more QoS aware and use a specific APIs in their OSS in order to request treatments.

So, if they send the downlink traffic you seen. They brought him to Sage and that they decided the AP would Miro with the priorities that the client requested. And as I said before, this is very useful, particularly in those networks that do not have and not do not use meaningful DSP markings.

So we believe this program is going to be eventually. We don’t know how long it’s going to take, but I hope it will take very little widely adopted. Because QoS is one of the things that we need to continue to improve in Wi-Fi networks. And at the end, we all want to deliver better quality of experience to our users.

Keith (19:29):
Do you foresee this being used across the board on client devices? I mean, even a little IOT device that’s Wi-Fi certified could also apply this QoS management.

Consuelo (19:41):
Yes. The answer is yes. I don’t know if, how quickly it will be adopted by IOT devices. But if the IOT devices are in an application and that required a special treatment. They should be using this.

Keith (19:56):
See, I was thinking in the reverse, the IOT devices should be forced mandatory to having this and then go down the other way on priority. Because right now they add traffic, but they really don’t have a priority.

So if they could deprioritize themselves, cause they really don’t need it. And the rest of the infrastructure could support that. Even if it was say a Soho or a small business that doesn’t have DCPS, they could use this mirroring to downshift them.

Consuelo (20:26):
They could, yeah, they could do that. Absolutely. Yes.

Keith (20:29):
Very optimistic that IOT manufacturers are going to do the right thing.

Consuelo (20:34):
We all hope for the best.

Okay. So, the next slide is again on the topic of quality of experience. And I know that talked to you and I talked before about Wi-Fi advantage and a wife advantage is the sick nation that we created to help it. Managers and operators to identify devices that have adopted or have additional features that make them better qualify to be used in managed networks.

Keith (21:13):
Translate this from Wi-Fi Alliance, speak Wi-Fi vantage, and turn it into eight Or two 11 speak. Are we talking about KVR?

Consuelo (21:23):
Yes, we are. So I’m going to do that.

So the first time that I came and presented, I don’t know, a couple of years ago we were announcing and releasing vantage for the first time. And we were in release one and vantage release. One was the latest five, which was AC rev two, and it included PassPoint. And then we added KVR and eight or two 11 AI, and the programs are Wi-Fi item. All demand and optimized connectivity more recently. And as the latest announcement in release three, we moved the bar.

So, if you imagine VR Wi-Fi vantage, the peaks, the current bar for devices to be considered the top of the line. So in Wi-Fi release three we made Wi-Fi six mandatory, of course don’t be paying three is mandatory. And that in a few new features that were made optional, or they were optional in Wi-Fi six and made them mandatory to ensure a better quality of experience in managed Wi-Fi networks. So how,

Keith (22:38):

As a user who goes and buys a new phone, new tablet, or a new computer. How would they know if it their machine is Wi-Fi vantage certified?

Consuelo (22:50):
Well, this is where Wi-Fi Alliance talks more. We don’t talk a lot to a consumer. I would say we address more operators and its managers.

Keith (23:05):
19 manager in a hospital wants to be vantage certified. So, they could go to their vendor of choice, Aruba, Cisco mist XStream and check their, if they’re vented certified, correct?.

How would they check if the client devices that they’re looking for also?

Consuelo (23:23):
So Y Y Phi Alliance also provides a link to something that we called product finder and Brooke finder is available to the public using in the public side of our pages. And we, you can search for a particular device and figure out what certifications that particular device has. And it will have a list of all the certifications for that device.

You could download data if you are inquisitive enough in an Excel and figure out a range of devices that you want to know all devices that have PassPoint or all devices that are vantage released to certify. You could do that.

Keith (24:09):
Do you know right now, I mean, since you were over the vendors program, is this something that a lot of infrastructure vendors have already attained?

Consuelo (24:16):
That level?

Keith (24:18):
So even though it’s not required, it’s not mandatory in Wi-Fi, six, many vendors have already reached that level in their Wi-Fi six devices.

Consuelo (24:26):
Yes. So Wi-Fi six was just announced. So I think that w we start seeing a greater adoption on vantage release two, which was the latest version and Wi-Fi on vantage release three, just starting to ramp up. Because, you know, you shouldn’t have been Wi-Fi six is requires that the device gets ident, multi-vendor optimized connectivity PassPoint and other series of certifications.

But yes, you could find a list of devices that have attained that certification. And, and I think that the certification is optional.

So there may be devices that have the features, but they may have decided not to apply for the vantage denomination. And this is where I think that if vantage becomes a more pervasive technology that everybody’s seeking for, we will get more vendors to actually click the box that says, okay, show me also on the vantage list,

Keith (25:31):
How can we as industry it, people put that kind of pressure on, we’d love to see more of the vendors do that. Is there anything we can do to help get them to click that extra week?

Consuelo (25:42):
Yes. On your RFCs you could. For example, request a vantage certification and do a bar at a minimum. I want really stew. For example, good point. Easy to add. Okay. So I mean, all of what we’re trying to advantage is increased, and I knew this is light is pretty busy. I didn’t know how to do it, not as busy, but enhance the moment you do have experience as the user is traverse traverse in our Wi-Fi network, you enter, you discover you associate, then you’re moving, and then you need to decide where, and when to Rome, which is the best IP, which is the best network we need faster authentication in order to ensure that the applications continue to run smoothly.

We need this acuity that WPA provides enhanced open PassPoint. We need the ability to onboard and, and direct steer our idea clients, because if you’re already in a university or a college, or you don’t know what the kids are going to bring and who knows what devices you end up in your network.

And at the end, we just want to include that enhance that mobility experience when roaming, by making it better and as seamless as is possible. So

Keith (27:07):
The little one that went, you know, the little round up and down, one of those balls, the circles was quality of experience.

So are you saying that quality experiences, both QoS, the nucleus management and vantage combined give you the best quality of experience?

Consuelo (27:22):
Yes, but let’s say that you are talking about a residential network and in a residential network, you have a mesh and maybe you want to use Wi-Fi, easy mesh and data elements in order to provide that added value for that particular type of network. And they will also play, and I should have mentioned them on that round bullet when I was talking our quality of experience. We can have a separate conversation about those two programs because they do bring added functionality, but for residential networks. Okay.

So in the same lines of improvements on that quality of experience Wi-Fi optimized connectivity. Which is a core program already included in vantage this month, about a week ago, two weeks ago, we announced added features and very important. Because well, two things, we added new metrics for IP selection and, and discovery. And we also align the discovery mechanisms that are implemented in six E with those in optimized connectivity’s.

So that if a device already has the software developed, because they came out with 61st and they wanted to extend that discovery to 2.4 and five gigahertz they could do so by using optimized connectivity and that simplification, I think would make this program more valuable because it would provide that alignment between 2.4, five and six.

Keith (29:18):
I like the idea here and the optimized connectivity makes perfect sense. My frustration is as long as it’s optional, we don’t know as it professionals, if we can rely on it.

So we have to design around it as if it’s not there. So it’s a wonderful idea, but until the vendors have both on the infrastructure side and the client side adopt it. We still have to design networks, assuming it’s not there.

Consuelo (29:46):
But, you can influence because he can say, I want vantage release too.

Keith (30:06):
It’s could do it much better if you just said Wi-Fi six, mandatory QoS, mandatory vantage, mandatory optimized connectivity. We would all cheer for you. Okay.

Consuelo (30:17):
Yes. I think that was the idea, but I think that then the bar will be way too high for vendors to come out with devices as soon as the market would want to have them. We have all these optional programs with hopes that they’re widely adopted, and then they will become a part of the main fi as an example. Okay.

That’s a good example, a Wi-Fi multi-vendor, which translate to the alphabet soup of KV and are correct EDA ads steering to clients. The ability to balance the network and visibility doors the network to help you better manage resources. That was an optional certification that is now mandatory in Wi-Fi six and after. So it already moved very quickly to the main, to, to the, the main fives. Oh, and so

Keith (31:21):
It, I just went a little faster.

Consuelo (31:24):
Yes. So Y Y KVR is already, there is mandatory for all Wi-Fi seek devices, and now we have optimized connectivity. We’re hoping that he gets to the same place. And after that, we hope that QoS gets to that level as well. We can always hope. Yes. So that’s all I had for today, unless that you have added questions for me.

Keith (31:52):
No, that was great. Do you know of any vendor who’s already started down the path of getting ready for the QoS management certification?

Consuelo (32:02):
Yes. I know of vendors that are working right now with the public announcement that came out. We had announcement from Silicon vendors that support the technology. And I have to say that for cures management we have tremendous interest and they are also working in added features that will come out as part of the feature release 2021 at the end of the year. And most likely announced early 20, 22. Okay, perfect.

Keith (32:36):
For your time today. Next you have something new. Get in touch and we’ll have you come back.

Consuelo (32:40):
Okay. Thank you. Keith was very nice talking to you and talking to your audience, and I would love to come back. Thank you very much.