The Wireless Certification Commission is an independent Standardisation and Certification body for Wi-Fi networks. The WCC is comprised of Wi-Fi industry leaders, committed to improving the standards of Wi-Fi network Engineering within the IT industry.
Because the industry needs Standards for Wi-Fi network Engineering.
Several key Wi-Fi industry leaders realised the need for an new and independent body – to define the standards to which Wi-Fi networks should be Engineered and Certified.
Contributors to the WCC Standards, Processes, Articles and Guidelines are Wi-Fi industry leaders employed by many different organisations World-wide.
Importantly, the WCC is not owned or directed by any wireless product manufacturer.
The WCC mission and objectives are to empower purchasers, owners and operators of wireless networks to make better purchasing decisions – through the dissemination of industry-leading knowledge, standards, guidelines and certification methods for wireless network deployments.
Most Wi-Fi networks are not “engineered” to any standard at all.
This applies even if you’ve had a “heatmap site survey”, and your Wi-Fi network is installed by a vendor-certified company.
This is why most Wi-Fi networks fail to deliver the Coverage, Capacity, Performance, Reliability and Security that we need; or why they simply cost more than they should. Usually, it’s both.
Basically – because the standards of Wi-Fi network design and installation have to date been so poor.
The WCC’s estimates are that fewer than 10% of Wi-Fi networks today are properly designed and surveyed; and fewer than 2% are optimally-engineered. Most Wi-Fi networks are not “engineered” to any meaningful standard at all.
We need the Cat 5 and Cat 6 cabling standards – which are defined by the separate standards body ANSI – because the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet standards don’t define cable quality and standards for cabling installation.
Likewise, the IEEE 802.11 and Wi-Fi standards don’t define the quality of the radio links in your Wi-Fi network; nor any standards for how your network should be Planned, Designed, Surveyed and Installed.
The WCC has therefore defined “Cat 5 / Cat 6 - equivalent standards” for Wi-Fi networks.
The publication of these standards is a revolution for the Wi-Fi industry, for users and for the owners of Wi-Fi networks world-wide.
Even the leading WLAN manufacturers have no standards for Wi-Fi RF Network Planning, Design, Survey, Installation, Auditing and Security Auditing.
There are no stated specifications for a Wi-Fi RF network, no methods specified for surveying and auditing a network, and no methods specified for independent testing and certification of a Wi-Fi network.
Even where one manufacturer specifies a parameter, such as minimum Wi-Fi signal strength, other manufacturers disagree and publish different figures.
The WCC specifications give wireless network owners, network managers and network engineers all this, and much, much more.
In a completely new initiative, the WCC have published Certification Standards which define how Wi-Fi networks should be engineered.
For a whole range of different Use Cases, you can now download WCC Certification Standards which you can use to:
- Specify to your IT suppliers exactly how your Wi-Fi networks should be engineered.
- Compare on a level playing field the quotations you receive from different Wi-Fi network suppliers.
- Extract written guarantees from your Wi-Fi network supplier – to ensure the Coverage, Capacity, Performance, Reliability and Security that you require.
- Get your Wi-Fi network Certified – to ensure that it meets your requirements in full.
- Ensure that your supplier followed WCC Guidelines and delivered best value-for-money.
- Hold your supplier to account if your Wi-Fi network does not meet the standards that you agreed.
A WCC CERTIFIED™ Wi-Fi network is guaranteed to meet the requirements of your organisation, and it will do so with a lower cost of ownership.
In fact, both your CAPEX and OPEX costs should be REDUCED when you buy a Wi-Fi network that is Certified to WCC Standards.
With a WCC CERTIFIED™ Wi-Fi network, you can rest assured that your wireless network has been Designed and Engineered so that it reliably and predictably meets your business requirements and expectations.
A WCC CERTIFIED™ Wi-Fi network is deliberately Engineered to meet your needs, neither over-provisioned (driving up cost and complexity) nor under-provisioned (failing to meet business requirements).
WCC CERTIFIED™ Wi-Fi networks set new standards which far surpass the majority of Wi-Fi networks installed to date.
As in every field of engineering, when something is engineered to properly-defined standards, it performs better and costs less.
Both your CAPEX and OPEX costs should be REDUCED when you buy a WCC CERTIFIED™ Wi-Fi network.
To get your Wi-Fi network WCC CERTIFIED™, contact the WCC.
Simply register via the WCC website to download the standard template that is appropriate to your Use Case.
Further documents are available to help you specify to Wi-Fi network suppliers how your Wi-Fi network should be engineered.
The WCC has defined a series of new methodologies which should be applied as best practice when engineering new Wi-Fi networks and also when validating existing Wi-Fi installations.
By following the WCC Optimised Wi-Fi™ Procurement Process, your chosen supplier(s) will be under contract to deliver a Wi-Fi network solution that:
- Is engineered using state-of-the-art industry best-practice
- Verifiably meets your Design Specifications
- Costs less than a non-optimally engineered network.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the term used for the advanced connectivity of devices, systems and services that brings about revolutionary new applications.
The Internet of Things is central to the WCC’s work, because Wi-Fi networks have a vital role to play in building the IoT.
Most Wi-Fi networks today are sub-standard, and are not capable of supporting the IoT and the applications that users will want to run.
This is why the WCC have published standards for Wi-Fi network Planning, Design, Survey, Installation and Support.
The WCC has defined new standards for each of these areas – with the primary aim of raising the standard of existing and new Wi-Fi networks.
WCC Wi-Fi Professional Certifications are recognised, vendor-neutral certifications which extend your knowledge of Wi-Fi network engineering – to the level where you can become a recognised industry expert.
WCC offers career certifications in Wi-Fi Network Engineering from intermediate to advanced and ultimately expert levels.
WCC Engineering Certifications include:
- CWNI™ – Certified Wi-Fi Network Installer™
CWNI is the entry-level (WCC Level 1) Certification which qualifies network engineers to install Wi-Fi access points, antennas and associated equipment in accordance with WCC Standards.
- CWNM™ – Certified Wi-Fi Network Manager™
CWNM is the professional-level (WCC Level 2) Certification which qualifies IT professional to operate and manage Enterprise-grade Wi-Fi networks in accordance with WCC Standards.
- CWIA™ – Certified Wi-Fi Installation Auditor™
CWIA is an intermediate-level (WCC Level 3) Certification which qualifies network engineers to perform post-installation Wi-Fi network audit surveys to WCC Standards.
- CWND™ – Certified Wi-Fi Network Designer™
CWND is an advanced-level (WCC Level 4) Certification which qualifies network engineers to Plan Wi-Fi networks, create customer Wi-Fi RF network specifications, and Design Wi-Fi RF networks to WCC Standards.
- CWNS™ – Certified Wi-Fi Network Surveyor™
CWNS is an advanced-level (WCC Level 5) Wi-Fi network engineering Certification which qualifies network engineers to Plan, Specify, Design and Survey new Wi-Fi RF networks to WCC Standards.
- CWSM™ – Certified Wi-Fi Security Manager™
CWSM is an intermediate-level (WCC Level 3) Wi-Fi Security Certification which qualifies network engineers and IT Security professionals to secure Wi-Fi networks to WCC Level 3 Standards.
- CWSA™ – Certified Wi-Fi Security Auditor™
CWSA is an advanced-level (WCC Level 5) Wi-Fi Security Certification which qualifies network engineers and IT Security professionals to perform Wi-Fi Network Security Audits to WCC Standards.
The Certified Wireless Network Professional program, launched in 2001, is a vendor-neutral training and certification program for Wi-Fi professionals. The program has been successful in raising standards in the Wi-Fi industry.
Recognising and building upon the body of experience within the CWNP community, the WCC Training and Certification program extends the skills of Wi-Fi network professionals to new standards – introducing the new practices and methodologies that are needed for today’s Wi-Fi networks.
The WCC Engineer Certifications dovetail into the CWNP certifications – to add the new, essential skills and Certifications that are needed for Optimised Wi-Fi RF Network Engineering.
Yes – Optimal, Fit-for-Purpose Wi-Fi Network Engineering is complex.
One of the biggest failings of the Wi-Fi industry is the fact that it has allowed both buyers, and suppliers of Wi-Fi networks to believe that simply adding more access points, and turning on an automatic RF management algorithm, will give you a fit-for-purpose, even optimal Wi-Fi network.
As just one illustration of how complex Wi-Fi Network Engineering is, the WCC has developed an 18 day Training and Certification program – to enable existing WLAN professionals to become WCC CERTIFIED™ Wi-Fi Engineers.
This is in addition to the 5 to 18 days of Certified Wireless Network Professional training and certification that we require as pre-requisites before WLAN professionals can complete the WCC CERTIFIED Engineer™ Training and Certification Program.
Category 5 cable (Cat 5) is a twisted pair cable used in structured cabling for Ethernet networks. Although we often refer to “Cat 5″ cabling, the Cat 5 specification has in fact been superseded by Cat 5e and Cat 6 – standards for higher-quality cable which support higher speeds.
Although the specifications for Ethernet are defined by the IEEE 802.3 standards, the Cat 5 and Cat 6 standards are defined in ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-A, with clarification in TSB-95.
ANSI – American National Standards Institute
TIA – Telecommunications Industry Association
EIA – Electronic Industries Alliance