Skip to main content
Shaping Europe’s digital future
Event | Publication

CONNECT University Session on "IEEE, Standardisation and Wi-Fi – a success story"

Wi-Fi technology is among the greatest success stories of this new technology era, and its societal benets are huge for most of the world's population. This Connect University session presented the story of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the largest professional organization in the world with 422 thousand members from over 160 countries. A comprehensive overview of its standardisation activities was included in the programme.

wifi, standardisation


wifi, standardisation

The lecture introduced the participants to IEEE 802.11, also known as Wi-Fi, and the Wi-Fi family of standards. At the same time, the complementary roles of Wi-Fi and 5G was addressed. Watch the recording and find out more about this topic.


José M. Fonseca de Moura is the IEEE President and CEO. IEEE is the largest professional organization in the world with 422 thousand members from over 160 countries. He is also the Philip L. and Marsha Dowd University Professor at CMU. His areas of expertise are signal and image processing, graph signal processing, data science, and learning. He holds 16 patents issued by the USPTO. Two of his patents (co-inventor Alek Kavcic) are used in over three billion hard disk drives in 60% of all computers sold in the last 13 years, and they were the subject of a $750 million settlement between CMU and a chip semiconductor company. He is a Fellow of IEEE, of the AAAS, of the US National Academy of Inventors, a corresponding member of the Academia das Ciências of Portugal, and a member of the US National Academy of Engineering.

Title of the presentation: IEEE: Innovating for a Better Tomorrow

Abstract: IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization. IEEE and its members continuously innovate through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities. IEEE and its 420,000+ members around the globe have contributed to great technological advancements in a broad spectrum of areas—ranging from power and energy, and robotics and automation to signal processing and data science, consumer electronics, communications and networking, and various domains in computer science. IEEE is also addressing the ethical dimensions of technology development and use. The critical underlying technology of wireless networking, known as Wi-Fi®, supports the constant flow of data across these various uses and more and meets the needs of an ever-evolving mobile digital society. Standardized by the IEEE 802™ Local and Metropolitan Area Network Committee, Wi-Fi is used to build complex networks in a standardized, scalable way and is continually being extended to meet emerging uses, requirements, and priorities—for the needs of next generation networks.IEEE and its members are lending their particular strengths and constituency expertise in a network-of-networks effort to contribute to the building blocks for a sustainable future—by working to make technology safe, interoperable and sustainable for the future.

Cees Links is a Wi-Fi pioneer. Under his leadership, when he worked for NCR, AT&T and Lucent Technologies, the first wireless LANs were developed—ultimately becoming household technology integrated into phones, tablets and notebooks around the world. He pioneered the development of access points, home networking routers and hotspots. He was involved in the establishing of the IEEE 802.11 standardization committee and the Wi-Fi Alliance. He was also instrumental in establishing the IEEE 802.15 standardization committee as the basis for the Zigbee® sense-and-control networking.  After that Cees became the founder and CEO of GreenPeak Technologies, now part of Qorvo, and currently serves as the General Manager of the Wireless Connectivity Business Unit. He was recognized as Wi-Fi pioneer with the Golden Mousetrap Lifetime Achievement Award and more recently being inducted into the Wi-Fi NOW Hall of Fame.

Title of the presentation: From 802.11 to Wi-Fi6

Abstract: Wi-Fi 6 (also known as IEEE 802.11ax) is the newest version of the well-known Wi-Fi standard and will further strengthen Wi-Fi’s position as the indoor wireless communication standard in terms of raw data rate and multi-user capacity, as well as becoming the backbone for the indoor Internet of Things (Zigbee, Thread, Bluetooth). Because of its distributed architecture, its full backward compatibility and ease of installation features (EasyMesh) Wi-Fi 6 is expected to rapidly take its place in the market, replacing all previous WiFi versions (.11ac, .11n). No surprise, just as in the past with 3G and 4G, now voices can be heard that 5G will eliminate the need for WiFi in the future. But for a variety of reasons to be discussed Wi-Fi 6 will be a strong complementary high-speed internet access technology complementary to 5G providing convenient indoor access facilitated by MSO’s (like cable providers and telco’s) to provide faster access to the home, whether this is the next generations Docsys, Fiber and/or 5G Fixed Wireless Access. Many MSO’s through WiFi-6 are planning to offer Service Level Agreements for high-speed internet access everywhere in the home dealing with the increasing complexity for the consumer of wireless networking in general.

Background information

Connect University is the flagship of DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology which aims to inform about the latest digital trends and challenges which are highly linked with EU's relevant policies and serve as a platform for sharing knowledge through thematic discussions, workshops and seminars. 

The participation in the above Connect University session is open to all staff working at EU Institutions and Bodies. External stakeholders and citizens may attend by invitation only (the number of available places for non-EU staff are very limited). The session will be webstreamed and recorded and everyone can follow it.