Wi-Fi Location

Accurate indoor location with Wi-Fi® connectivity

Location is inextricably linked with mobility. Consumers want to know where they are and what is around them, whether indoors or outside. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Location™ delivers meter-level accuracy indoors. Wi-Fi Location-enabled networks and devices work together to deliver accurate location information with the benefits of Wi-Fi connectivity and without the need for separate, location-based infrastructure or costly maintenance.

Wi-Fi Location-enabled devices help network managers, operating systems developers, and applications developers deliver enhanced location data-driven apps and services. Wi-Fi Location certification ensures standards-based interoperability of devices so that developers can provide users the same experiences indoors as they have come to expect outside.

Location beyond navigation

Wi-Fi Location not only improves the accuracy of location data for navigation purposes, it enables the creation of new, feature-rich applications and services. Wi-Fi Location can provide benefits to manufacturers, enterprise, retail, and healthcare markets through:

  • Asset management: Tracking high-value mobile equipment
  • Network management: Pinpointing where troubleshooting and maintenance is needed
  • Geo-fencing: Creating virtual perimeters that trigger actions when devices move in or out of the boundary
  • Hyperlocal marketing: Displaying alerts or coupons when a customer is nearby
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Frequently Asked Questions
  • How does Wi-Fi Location identify a device location?

    Wi-Fi Location primarily uses ranging through the Fine Timing Measurement (FTM) protocol to locate a device within a network. Using the FTM Range Request and Report, an infrastructure (network) device requests a mobile device to measure and report range measurements between the mobile device and nearby access points (AP). The ranges are determined using FTM frame exchanges during an FTM session.

  • Does my phone have to be associated with an access point on a network to determine location?

    With Wi-Fi Location, a mobile device does not need a layer 2 or layer 3 connection with an access point (AP) to determine its location. Fine Timing Measurement (FTM) frames can be transmitted in pre-association mode once an FTM session is negotiated between a mobile device and an AP.

  • Must both client and network devices be Wi-Fi Location enabled for Wi-Fi Location to work?

    To gain the level of accuracy that Wi-Fi Location delivers, both devices in a measurement exchange should be certified for Wi-Fi Location.

  • How many infrastructure devices are needed to accurately determine a device’s relative location?

    A device usually makes use of trilateration to determine its relative location. In most cases three devices are sufficient for calculating location unless the placement of access points (AP) are aligned or are co-located.

  • Is Wi-Fi Location power efficient?

    Wi-Fi Location helps mobile devices conserve power by allowing a device to negotiate the scheduling and operational parameters for a Fine Timing Measurement (FTM) session, including the FTM burst interval, frequency and bandwidth of these transmissions, and number of frames in every burst.