Why No Wi-Fi Alliance at Wireless LAN Professionals Conference?

As I wake on the last day of the excellent WLAN Professionals Conference in Phoenix, I’m reviewing tIMG_5988he many pages of notes I’ve taken. There’s a good chance that I’m not the only one that will be leaving this event with a whole lot of food for thought. From learning about what’s coming next with 802.11ax  to getting exposure to a range of new support tools to having how each of us approaches Wi-Fi design challenged (and/or affirmed), this conference has absolutely been time well spent.

At the same time, somewhere in Day 2, I had a strong feeling that something is missing here. Despite hearing from industry and technology experts, getting a glimpse of the Wi-Fi future as toolmakers and tech leaders see it, and just filling sheet after sheet with “yeah, I better look deeper in to THAT” kinds of notes, I realized that there was a palpable void in the schedule.

There is no session by the Wi-Fi Alliance at the WLAN Professionals Conference.

With HaLow just announced, developments in the IoT and unlicensed LTE space, and oddball initiatives like TLPS hanging in the air, it would just make sense to hear a solid 60 minutes on the State of Wi-Fi from the organization self-charged with being one of our brightest advocacy lights. There’s no doubt the room would be filled to capacity, and if the session lasted all day there still wouldn’t be enough time for all the Q & A likely to happen.

Don’t get me wrong- I won’t leave this event feeling slighted in any way.This is my third WLPC, and each one has been better than the last (which was excellent, too). But you can feel the energy and interest in the crowd, and attendees are thirsty to know three things:

  • How did we get here, as an industry?
  • What is going on that I may be missing?
  • What comes next that I need to be thinking about?

The Wi-Fi Alliance owns a major stake in each of those topics and quite frankly should have been here to participate in the discussions, in my opinion. The Alliance would do well to hear what the real “doers” of wireless are thinking and feeling, and would likely walk away with equal parts praise and criticism on a variety of salient points. This feedback *could* be valuable to the Alliance- if they made good use of it.

Many of my colleagues feel that the members of Wi-Fi Alliance has taken a strong turn towards simply getting more of their gadgetry sold at the expense of true interoperability and a responsible, sensible, forward-looking evolution of the WLAN space. I tend to agree.

It would be great if we could have had the chance to find out first-hand at WLPC, but that didn’t happen.


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