802.11e QoS

The 802.11e task group is working to enhance the current 802.11 MAC to expand support for applications with quality of service requirements.(Note:Security issues formerly being considered by the 802.11e task group are now being considered by the 802.11i task group.) The intent is to make 802.11 fully capable of supporting applications from both business and home environments,including multimedia.

Data transmission is relatively immune to interruptions caused when packets are resent or shuffled in transmission.However,these interruptions and time delays can wreak havoc on information that must be streamed across in a continuous fashion,such as voice or video. 802.11e has created a QoS Baseline Document (eventually to become a draft)that proposes methods for handling time-sensitive traffic.Among other things,it guarantees collision avoidance and provides mechanisms for scheduling transmissions and improving channel robustness.802.11e expects to publish a draft supplement in 2002. Higher data rates and QoS will be welcome additions to the evolving 802.11 family of standards.However,the most pressing and immediate need for 802.11 is an improvement in security.