IEEE 802.11u

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IEEE 802.11u-2011 is an amendment to the IEEE 802.11-2007 standard to add features that improve interworking with external networks.

802.11 is an IEEE standard that allows mobile communication devices such as laptop computers or multi-mode phones to join a Wireless LAN (WLAN) widely used in the home, public hotspots and commercial establishments.

For users who are not pre-authorized

IEEE 802.11 currently makes an assumption that a user's device is pre-authorized to use the network. IEEE 802.11u covers the cases where that device is not pre-authorized. A network will be able to allow access based on the user's relationship with an external network (e.g. hotspot roaming agreements), or indicate that online enrollment is possible, or allow access to a strictly limited set of services such as emergency services (client to authority and authority to client.)

From a user perspective, the aim is to improve the experience of a traveling user who turns on a laptop in a hotel many miles from home, or uses a mobile device to place a phone call. Instead of being presented with a long list of largely meaningless SSIDs the user could be presented with a list of networks, the services they provide, and the conditions under which the user could access them. 802.11u is central to the adoption of UMA and other approaches to network mobile devices.

Encourages mesh deployment

Because a relatively sophisticated set of conditions can be presented, arbitrary contracts could be presented to...
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