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Super Wi-Fi Name Could be an Issue; Access Clarification

By - Source: Wi-Fi Alliance | B 17 comments

After the launch of the nation's first "Super Wi-Fi" network, the Wi-Fi Alliance is now annoyed about the usage of its trademark. An update to last week's Super Wi-Fi network launch is also included.

As reported last week, so far there's nothing really "super" about Super Wi-Fi. There are no blazing speeds to make it superior to what we currently have, and at least for now, probably never will.

A network using the Television White Spaces (TWS) frequencies will reportedly provide 15 Mbps at the most, nowhere close to the 54 Mbps peak speed provided by the old and decrepit 802.11g standard. What seemingly makes this technology "super" is the way transmissions can penetrate obstacles and the overall reach. A TWS connection has a stronger punch with a longer reach, but just isn't as fast as its shorter Wi-Fi counterpart.

Now with the nation's first "Super Wi-Fi" network up and running in a small North Carolina town, the Wi-Fi Alliance is worried there may be some consumer confusion. In a statement released on Friday, the group points out that there are no commercial devices on the market that are fully compatible with the new network, nor is there Wi-Fi technology that works correctly in the TWS spectrum. Even more, the term Wi-Fi is a registered trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance, meaning that adding "super" is a definite legal no-no.

"The Wi-Fi Alliance supports efforts to use the unlicensed spectrum known as Television White Spaces to expand connectivity," the group said on Friday. "However, Wi-Fi Alliance cautions that the use of terminology such as 'Super Wi-Fi' or 'Next Generation Wi-Fi' for the Television White Spaces implementations available today will lead to substantial user confusion. Consumers should be aware that recently-announced deployments using terms like 'Super Wi-Fi' are not in fact Wi-Fi."

"It is important that users not be misled into confusing any such technology with Wi-Fi," the group adds.

The Wireless Innovation Alliance trade group says that radios using TWS will probably use a new standard called 802.22 for "regional area network." That said, TWS will seemingly be no more "super" than Wi-Fi on 802.11 (local area network), Bluetooth on 802.15 (personal are network), and WiMAX on 802.16 (metropolitan are network). TWS will be just another part of the networking rainbow, and nothing above.

Right now TWS devices cannot be moved. Instead, they must remain stationary, as they check their location against a database -- one of which was installed and launched last week -- to make sure it's not interfering with a channel being used by a Digital TV signal or a wireless microphone. Personal TWS devices for laptops and tablets are expected to arrive by the end of the year. These will likely be portable hotspot devices with additional Wi-Fi connectivity, and capable of sniffing out clean frequencies as the user moves around.

In our report last week, we were told that connecting to the just-erected "Super Wi-Fi" network using a Wi-Fi device was possible. Since then, we've learned that using a Wi-Fi device directly just isn't possible. Instead, the TWS network is actually used as a backhaul link for separately installed 2.4 and 5 GHz base stations which provides the local Internet connection.

That said, the difficult connection issues had nothing to do with TWS itself but the park's Wi-Fi hotspots. Connection was attempted using the 2.4 GHz band as well -- we didn't even try the less congested 5 GHz avenue. KTS Wireless is responsible for erecting the (well hidden) Agility White Space Radio (AWR) stations, providing the TWS network, promising data rates from 1.5 to 3.1 MB/s (or 12 to 24.8 Mbps).

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  • 14 Hide
    willard , February 2, 2012 5:53 PM
    Finally, a trademark/copyright case that doesn't leave you with a foul taste in your mouth. Looks like the Wi-Fi Alliance has a perfectly valid argument here, and I'm inclined to agree.

    If it ain't Wi-Fi, don't call it Wi-Fi.
  • 13 Hide
    phamhlam , February 2, 2012 5:50 PM
    The use of the name Wi-Fi does make it confusing. It should be called something else since it doesn't even work with current wi-fi standards.
Other Comments
  • 13 Hide
    phamhlam , February 2, 2012 5:50 PM
    The use of the name Wi-Fi does make it confusing. It should be called something else since it doesn't even work with current wi-fi standards.
  • 14 Hide
    willard , February 2, 2012 5:53 PM
    Finally, a trademark/copyright case that doesn't leave you with a foul taste in your mouth. Looks like the Wi-Fi Alliance has a perfectly valid argument here, and I'm inclined to agree.

    If it ain't Wi-Fi, don't call it Wi-Fi.
  • 9 Hide
    mrmaia , February 2, 2012 6:01 PM
    FINALLY a sue "threat" that makes full sense.

    That said, it makes me sad to see "will reportedly provide 15 Mbps at the most, nowhere close to the 54 Mbps peak speed provided by the old and decrepit 802.11g standard.". Here in Brazil, even 1Mbps is considered very fast for wireless internet.
  • 7 Hide
    huron , February 2, 2012 7:28 PM
    Interesting...I'll have to agree. I'm in favor of the ones suing for the first time in a long time.
  • 3 Hide
    RealBeast , February 2, 2012 7:48 PM
    Doh! I thought it was Super so I needed it, now I find out that it is only Super in name. Very disappointing.
  • 5 Hide
    kentlowt , February 2, 2012 7:50 PM
    Performance may be the wrong way to look at this technology. Better access in areas where you don't have line of sight and things like this may make it more stable. In some cases I would rather have a more stable signal than a blazing fast one. If it is indeed more stable. Last I heard the network detection part still had a ways to go before being reliable.
  • 1 Hide
    azgard , February 2, 2012 9:36 PM
    I'm confused how this is going to be implemented though, as this is an FCC endorsed project for 'free internet' let's see how much tracking and censorship is going to be involved in this project.
  • -2 Hide
    back_by_demand , February 2, 2012 9:42 PM
    Fair play, it may not use the "IEEE 802.11" protocols, but it is wireless and wifi is a marketing slogan, not a technical standard, people will still call it super-wifi and no one is going to stop them unless a catchier name comes along
  • 1 Hide
    agnickolov , February 2, 2012 11:23 PM
    Isn't marketing speak lovely? First we had hi-fi in the good old days (70s, 80s). Then they coined wi-fi in the 90s to elicit that sense of pride hi-fi invoked. These days we have wi-di as well. None of these are related to each other in any way BTW - hi-fi is acoustics, wi-fi is networking, wi-di is a display link technology. And now we get super wi-fi...
  • 2 Hide
    azgard , February 3, 2012 1:27 AM
    back_by_demandFair play, it may not use the "IEEE 802.11" protocols, but it is wireless and wifi is a marketing slogan, not a technical standard, people will still call it super-wifi and no one is going to stop them unless a catchier name comes along


    No, its a registered trademark, not a "marketing slogan". Comparing your analogy would be Dodge trying to market the Dodge Mustang on a Chevrolet Corvette Clone.
  • 0 Hide
    __-_-_-__ , February 3, 2012 12:02 PM
    this is a perfect example of lack of naming and marketing. they don't do it correctly and it's confuse
    It's the opposite of what intel for example does for cpu's, they over do it and make it confuse.

    is it really hard to name things???
    IEEE 802.11g could be just wifi-54.
    imo indexing wifi devices to the speed they can deliver it's the way to go.
    for example with 802.11n we have several bandwidths, 150mbps 300mbps 600mbps and we never known how it performs if we just see wifi 802.11n.
    it could just be "wifi 150" or "wifi 300" etc.

    in a few seconds I created a system that everyone understands. sure there could be other very simple systems yet they spend tons of money on marketing and aren't capable of that?
    is that so hard????
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , February 3, 2012 12:26 PM
    azgardNo, its a registered trademark, not a "marketing slogan". Comparing your analogy would be Dodge trying to market the Dodge Mustang on a Chevrolet Corvette Clone.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi
    Quote:
    The term Wi-Fi, first used commercially in August 1999,[31] was coined by a brand-consulting firm called Interbrand Corporation that the Alliance had hired to determine a name that was "a little catchier than 'IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence'".[32][33][34] Belanger also stated that Interbrand invented Wi-Fi as a play on words with Hi-Fi, and also created the Wi-Fi logo.

    The Wi-Fi Alliance initially used an advertising slogan for Wi-Fi, "The Standard for Wireless Fidelity",[32] but later removed the phrase from their marketing. Despite this, some documents from the Alliance dated 2003 and 2004 still contain the term Wireless Fidelity.[28][29] There was no official statement related to the dropping of the term.

  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , February 4, 2012 5:19 AM
    I assumed that Super WiFi wasn't compatible with Wi-Fi, unfortunately this is a situation where I would have preferred being wrong.

    Also nice to see a possible legal battle that is actually a sensible fight from the side of the suing company.
  • 1 Hide
    ChromeTusk , February 6, 2012 6:28 PM
    Quote:
    Fair play, it may not use the "IEEE 802.11" protocols, but it is wireless and wifi is a marketing slogan, not a technical standard, people will still call it super-wifi and no one is going to stop them unless a catchier name comes along

    Quote:
    No, its a registered trademark, not a "marketing slogan". Comparing your analogy would be Dodge trying to market the Dodge Mustang on a Chevrolet Corvette Clone.

    Quote:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi
    Quote:
    The term Wi-Fi, first used commercially in August 1999,[31] was coined by a brand-consulting firm called Interbrand Corporation that the Alliance had hired to determine a name that was "a little catchier than 'IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence'".[32][33][34] Belanger also stated that Interbrand invented Wi-Fi as a play on words with Hi-Fi, and also created the Wi-Fi logo.

    The Wi-Fi Alliance initially used an advertising slogan for Wi-Fi, "The Standard for Wireless Fidelity",[32] but later removed the phrase from their marketing. Despite this, some documents from the Alliance dated 2003 and 2004 still contain the term Wireless Fidelity.[28][29] There was no official statement related to the dropping of the term.


    Technically, the term Wi-Fi does not have any meaning and was created for marketing purposes. It is associated with "wireless fidelity" because is resembles "hi-fi" which stands for "high fidelity". Wi-Fi is also a registered trademark (register number 75799629 with the US Patent & Trademark Office, http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/index.jsp) owned by the Wi-Fi Alliance.
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , March 2, 2012 2:16 PM
    yubngvbgmthey don't do it correctly and it's confuseIt's the opposite of what intel for example does for cpu's, they over do it and make it confuse.


    What are you going on? Celeron, Pentium, i3, i5, i7. Seems simple enough to me. Celeron is dual/single core, Pentium is dual core, i3 is dual core w/HTT, i5 is quad core, i7 is quad core w/ HTT. Seems simple enough to me. Yes, Super WiFi is causing some confusion, but I never got why Intel's lineup does. It seems simple, Celeron is slower than Pentium and once you go to i3, higher numbers means faster overall. This shouldn't be so confusing.

    For a non-techy, pretty much any processor naming model could confuse. AMD's isn't really any better, some of the Phenom II 8xxs are faster than some 9xxs. I like the naming scheme on the Bulldozer FXs, but it's not that much better. i3 is a dual core with Hyper-Threading, FX-4xx is a quad core. i5 is a quad core, FX-6xxx is a six core. i7 is a quad core with Hyper-Threading, FX-8xxx is an eight core.

    Then Intel's Celerons and Pentiums compete not with FX, but with Llano/Sempron/Athlon II/Phenom II dual and tri cores CPUs and none of them have Hyper-Threading.

    They both seem rather simple, it's just that Intel has Hyper-Threading also defined by the name of the CPU so it has more than core count, architecture, and clock frequency to look into. Intel also has different cache sizes, but they aren't game-changers for performance.

    Seems to me that like Intel has a simple enough naming convention and that it isn't confusing to anyone who just reads this comment. Does anyone think it is too oversimplified after reading this? If so, then I guarantee that I can come up with a less simplified convention and it won't be any better.
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , March 30, 2012 4:00 PM
    mrmaiaFINALLY a sue "threat" that makes full sense.That said, it makes me sad to see "will reportedly provide 15 Mbps at the most, nowhere close to the 54 Mbps peak speed provided by the old and decrepit 802.11g standard.". Here in Brazil, even 1Mbps is considered very fast for wireless internet.


    This refers more to the network speed than the internet speed. Even in Brazil, if you have a 54Mb/s Wireless G router and a compatible Wireless G laptop or other device, the two have a ~54Mb/s connection. Whether or not the internet connection that the router is sharing through that wireless connection is anywhere near the network speed of ~54MB/s is a whole other story.

    Super WiFi and the other wireless technologies are network connections. The internet speed shared on a network rarely comes close to the network's maximum speed. For example, here in the USA my cable internet is 24Mb/s, but my wired network is 100Mb/s, about four times faster. My wireless network is 54Mb/s, so it's about twice as fast as the internet connection. My Android's 3G might be something like 1Mb/s even in the USA. Considering 4G's crappy coverage in the USA, 1Mb/s is considered fast for a 3G connection. Even in the USA and with home internet, 54Mb/s on the old Wireless G standard far outpaces all but the best of home internet connections. A very large fraction of the USA still has dial up that maxes out at only 56K and a lot of people have less than 1-4 Mb/s home internet connections. It's only if you're very close to a DSL station or if you get cable that most people can get fast home internet between 6Mb/s and 64 Mb/s, depending on how much you pay (going over even like 24Mb/s is expensive).

    My android, like most other Androids and many other smart phones, also has Wireless G connectivity, so if I'm in a house or building with WiFi and I have access to it, I can use the faster internet provided by it, but wireless internet besides at buildings that supply free WiFi maxes out at about 1Mb/s if you can't get 4G like most of the USA. 4G in the places that have it (mostly big cities like Chicago and New York City) can average over 10Mb/s and reach up to almost 30Mb/s peaks (at least on T mobile, I haven't checked other wireless providers), but even then, 4G takes up a LOT of battery power to do that, so it's still a trade off at best.
  • 0 Hide
    azgard , April 11, 2012 3:58 AM
    Quote:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi
    Quote:
    The term Wi-Fi, first used commercially in August 1999,[31] was coined by a brand-consulting firm called Interbrand Corporation that the Alliance had hired to determine a name that was "a little catchier than 'IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence'".[32][33][34] Belanger also stated that Interbrand invented Wi-Fi as a play on words with Hi-Fi, and also created the Wi-Fi logo.

    The Wi-Fi Alliance initially used an advertising slogan for Wi-Fi, "The Standard for Wireless Fidelity",[32] but later removed the phrase from their marketing. Despite this, some documents from the Alliance dated 2003 and 2004 still contain the term Wireless Fidelity.[28][29] There was no official statement related to the dropping of the term.



    Quote:
    "Wi-Fi" is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance and the brand name for products using the IEEE 802.11 family of standards. Only Wi-Fi products that complete Wi-Fi Alliance interoperability certification testing successfully may use the "Wi-Fi CERTIFIED" designation and trademark.


    Try reading your entire source instead of picking the information you want and still being wrong.