Wi-Fi Alliance adds new, faster path to Wi-Fi Certified for vendors ‘in the middle’

There are now three ways for a product to become Wi-Fi Certified

Wi-Fi Certified, the internationally recognized seal of approval for products indicating that they have met industry-agreed standards for interoperability, has been a foundational component to Wi-Fi global success, according to Kevin Robinson, SVP of Marketing, Wi-Fi Alliance. In fact, he revealed that a recent Wi-Fi Alliance report indicated that 60% of respondents are willing to pay more for a product that is carrying the Wi-Fi Certified seal.  

However, with Wi-Fi’s popularity and inclusion in new types of products increasing, the traditional paths to Wi-Fi Certification are no longer sufficient, which is why the Wi-Fi Alliance is introducing QuickTrack, which enables Wi-Fi product vendors to introduce quality devices into the market faster.

Robinson explained to RCR Wireless News that for the Apples and the Samsungs of the world, which use highly customized solutions from silicon vendors, the traditional way of certifying products was an appropriate method. Similarly, vendors in the IoT segment that modify a Wi-Fi module only slightly before putting it into their product, also find that the traditional certification works well.

“But there’s a space in the middle where a vendor is working from a solution that they get from a module vendor or chipset supplier,” he continued. “They’re making certain changes to make sure that the Wi-Fi is appropriate for their specific use cases, and they want to certify that cheaply and get their product to market quickly.”

This is where QuickTrack comes in. This new certification path lowers testing costs and reduces the time needed to complete Wi-Fi certification testing by relying on “qualified solutions” which have already completed full Wi-Fi functionality testing.

“It is for companies who are basing their products on Qualified Solutions and are doing targeted modifications to Wi-Fi functionality and components. The core Wi-Fi components being used in these vendors’ products have already gone through testing,” Robinson explained.

With this latest news, Wi-Fi Alliance now offers three paths to certify Wi-Fi products:

  • QuickTrack (the newest option): Tailored to products based on suppliers’ solutions that have already completed core Wi-Fi functionality testing as part of a Qualified Solution. QuickTrack allows targeted modifications to Wi-Fi components and functionality. Testing is completed in-house at the member’s testing site or at an authorized test lab (ATL).
  • FlexTrack: Tailored to highly differentiated products designed from the ground up. FlexTrack allows extensive flexibility in product design, including Wi-Fi functionality customization and optimization. Testing is completed at an ATL.
  • Derivative: Tailored to product portfolios where multiple products use identical Wi-Fi designs, such as multiple television models with the same Wi-Fi module or appliances designed by one vendor for distribution under other vendors’ brands. Members apply for certification of derivative products without the requirement to complete testing.

“Wi-Fi is finding its way into all manner of devices. It’s difficult to find a product that does not have Wi-Fi in it,” said Robinson. “That provides challenges for companies who want to get Wi-Fi certified in a painless way and who approach product development differently. QuickTrack helps address these challenges.”

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