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Super Wi-Fi Isn't Really Wi-Fi 145

Posted by timothy
from the how-can-a-jump-rope-be-wi-fi? dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "As reported yesterday lucky residents of Wilmington, N.C., will be the first in the nation to have access to a 'Super Wi-Fi' network. However, the only issue is that Super Wi-Fi isn't really Wi-Fi: Mobile analyst Sascha Segan explains the difference and also gets into why it's incorrectly being dubbed as Super Wi-Fi."
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Super Wi-Fi Isn't Really Wi-Fi

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Super WiFi isn't WiFi at all? Shouldn't it have been called wannabe WiFi?

    • Hey, is this the same Sascha Segan who was a little know-it-all brat on the 80s TV gameshow Child's Play?

      http://www.game-show-utopia.net/SSInterview.htm [game-show-utopia.net]

      My how you've grown!

    • by Canazza (1428553)

      They're worried that "WiFi" has become synonymous with Wireless communication, like Hoover has to Vacuum Cleaners.
      If they did get sued, and I were the "Super WiFi" guys I'd come up with another name, it's not that hard. Sprint's 4G is called WiMAX (as stated in the story), so since they're in the White Spaces frequencies, why not take a part of White and Space and get "Wi-Space". Keep the Wi but drop the Fi and drop that stupid "Super" suffix.

  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @01:32PM (#38850517)

    for one, I do side with the big corps saying they need to protect their product name or protocol name.

    is ham radio wifi? is fm radio 'home transmitters' wifi? is cb radio (gawd, I'm old) wifi?

    how about our cordless phones? those are 'wifi' too?

    assinine.

    now, the other way around is equally wrong. when MS took 'windows' and now they own that word, that was wrong. apple seems to think they own a lot of common words and colors, too.

    but wifi is not at all generic and didn't start out generic. it should be respected as its own thing and not name-stolen.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 28, 2012 @01:44PM (#38850591)

      I think if something is to be called Wifi, it should at least work with most of the Wifi devices out there.

      If it is yet another compatible implementation of the 802.11 family of protocols using the same spectrum, it is okay.

      If it is 802.11 on a different part of the spectrum, calling it wifi is a stretch.

      If it is 802.22, then it isn't wifi at all. Calling it so can cause user confusion.

      • by rubycodez (864176) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @01:50PM (#38850613)
        most end users, almost all of them, don't know a thing about radio spectrum, encoding, or protocols for such. The level of understanding is "does it work with this system, or doesn't it'. Therefore "super wifi" is nothing more than a marketing term. It doesn't matter.
        • by AvitarX (172628) <me.brandywinehundred@org> on Saturday January 28, 2012 @01:57PM (#38850645) Journal

          But wifi used to mean it worked with wifi, it wasn't just marketing.

          They created a user friendly term so users didn't need to know 802.11g. If they lose the trademark, they'll need to come up with another new term, and retrain users.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Because it would suck if users ever actually knew what they were talking about, thus preventing this confusion next time.

            I mean really, are "Wireless-N", "WiFi-N", and such appellations really so much easier to remember than 802.11n? Yeah, I know we're all/mostly computer/network enthusiasts, and it would be wrong to expect the general public to care as much about getting it right, but when I deal with fields where I'm non-expert, I'd know I'd rather learn correct terminology than some brand name -- and I d

          • by sjames (1099)

            That ship has sailed. Your 802.11a card won't connect to that 802.11bg router. The 802.11n router is compatible with the 802.11 card unless you put it on a channel in the 5GHz range, then it isn't. I see the lot of it called WiFi all the time.

            At least Super WiFi has something to indicate it may not be regular WiFi.

          • by Larryish (1215510) <larryish&gmail,com> on Sunday January 29, 2012 @03:30PM (#38858957)

            Maybe they can change from WiFi to "WyFy".

            Then it would appeal to the masses.

        • by swalve (1980968) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @02:22PM (#38850767)
          Sure it matters. If my device has a WiFi logo on it, I should be able to connect. If it doesn't connect I'm going to be pissed and believe that "WiFi" sucks.
          • by rubycodez (864176)
            If you take your "wifi" device that only does 2.4GHz to a place with 5 GHz wifi, it won't work either. get over it.
            • by Anonymous Coward

              I didn't know anyone even made 5GHz only access points. WiFi devices tend to be backwards compatible and I think people would think less of WiFi if they find something branded as WiFi is incompatible with something else branded as WiFi.

            • by thegarbz (1787294)

              get over it.

              The parent raised a real critical point. The answer is not "get over it", as you Mr nerd will be the one that handles your grandparent's IT support calls when exactly this kind of problem pops up.

              The Wifi logo is a certification scheme. If two devices with the same logo don't work with each other then what is the purpose of having that logo? Or should we just add the words maybe to everything?

              Maybe designed for Windows 7?
              Maybe USB3.0?
              This disc maybe a CDROM and may work with your computer?
              Maybe you just spe

              • by rubycodez (864176)
                jokes on you and my grandparents, I'm old and they're all long dead. hah!
                We're talking about "super wifi", and that logo has nothing to do with it. And, as I'm trying to drill into your obtuse head, not everything with that wifi logo will even work together. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to do some super-duper-puper-wifi via packet radio.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          [Posting AC, for semiobvious reasons....]
          Overheard in a local McDonald's (TM) restaurant:
          Customer: I want my free wiffee.
          Clerk: Your free what?
          Customer: My free wiffee.

          [....iterate four or five times....]

          Clerk: Can you show me where we have a 'wiffee' on our menu?
          Customer, pointing to 'Free Wi-Fi' sign: See! A Free wiffee! Does it come in small, medium, and large?
          Clerk: Oh, that's WiFi, rhymes with SciFi, and it's used to get to the Internet.
          Customer: Oh. Thanks.

        • by Fjandr (66656)

          Alright, I will now refer to all Bluetooth, cellular, and baseband radio transmissions as "wi-fi" since they're all just "marketing terms."

      • by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Saturday January 28, 2012 @02:28PM (#38850801) Homepage

        Ok then, call it Wi-Far! :)

    • by gstrickler (920733) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @02:22PM (#38850769)

      Agreed, even ignoring the obvious trademark issues and lack of compatibility, Wi-Fi has never been the generic term. Wi-Fi didn't exist until the Wi-Fi Alliance created the term specifically to promote inter-operable 802.11a/b/g products. Wireless is the generic term.

      Wi-Fi, WiMAX, LTE, Bluetooth, and other such terms are specific implementations of wireless data communications. None of those inter-operate with the others, but they don't interfere with each other either so they can be used concurrently. If the "Wireless Innovation Alliance" doesn't know that, then they're ignorant. If they do know it, then they've deliberately violated a competitor's registered trademark and opened themselves to a lawsuit that could potentially end their group before they really get started. It's unlikely that will happen. The appropriate response when called-out on it would have been something like "We're sorry, we will use another term.", not the insolent BS response claiming "The term 'wifi' has always been a general term for the family of 802.11 protocols...."

      • by ewanm89 (1052822)
        Not to mention Wifi term and logo can only be displayed on Wifi Alliance certified devices that support a specific set of protocols of the 802.11 protocols. A lot of devices are not certified even if they do support the agreed protocols and so will not even mention wifi on the packaging, the idea is that any wifi alliance logo'ed box will be compatible with any other wifi logoed device.
    • by hairyfeet (841228)
      Well as someone who has to explain things to consumers all day all i want to know is this: Can my customers fire up their bog standard B/G/N Wifi enabled laptops and netbooks and hook up with as simple and painless a procedure as normal Wifi? if the answer is yes i'm all for it and if its no they need to STFU and get out of here with that shit. From reading TFA it looks like a STFU and GTFO kind of deal, needing new cards and will confuse the hell out of my customers who think (and rightly so since they hav
    • by jonadab (583620)
      As a general rule, I tend to agree: if a trademark is genuinely a unique or creative name for the product, competitors should not be allowed to just appropriate it -- they should be liable for the infringement and have to pay (reasonable) damages.

      I do *not* think this should apply in cases of an appropriated standard word for the thing, like "Word" for word processing (or "Writer" for that matter) or "One-Click" for an activity that (ostensibly) involves clicking once or "Multi-Touch" for a touch-screen in
    • by axl917 (1542205)

      Like Xerox?

      Like Photoshop?

  • This just in... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 28, 2012 @01:32PM (#38850519)

    A super nerd explains why super wifi isn't wifi. General population doesn't give a fuck, as wifi means "wireless internet" to them.

    More new at 11...

    • by Dogtanian (588974) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @02:06PM (#38850691) Homepage

      A super nerd explains why super wifi isn't wifi. General population doesn't give a fuck, as wifi means "wireless internet" to them.

      General population then bitches when their Super "WiFi" doesn't interoperate with any of their existing WiFi equipment and in fact can't even be used directly in their laptop at present. From the article:-

      For now, at least, you can't move a white-space device around. You can't put a white-space radio into a phone or laptop because each white-space device must check its location against a database to determine which TV channels and wireless microphones are being used in the device's area, so they can avoid those channels. [..] It will be a way for wireless Internet providers, especially in rural areas, to zap their network over to a main router in a home, which will then redistribute it to devices over Ethernet or standard Wi-Fi connections.

      So you're right that they probably wouldn't care about the technical issues, and nor would they ever likely care if any difference was totally transparent (and thus irrelevant) to the man on the street. But it's not, and that's why "Super WiFi" is a crap and misleading name, even for Joe Public.

      • by ryanw (131814)

        A super nerd explains why super wifi isn't wifi. General population doesn't give a fuck, as wifi means "wireless internet" to them.

        General population then bitches when their Super "WiFi" doesn't interoperate with any of their existing WiFi equipment and in fact can't even be used directly in their laptop at present. From the article:-

        For now, at least, you can't move a white-space device around. You can't put a white-space radio into a phone or laptop because each white-space device must check its location against a database to determine which TV channels and wireless microphones are being used in the device's area, so they can avoid those channels. [..] It will be a way for wireless Internet providers, especially in rural areas, to zap their network over to a main router in a home, which will then redistribute it to devices over Ethernet or standard Wi-Fi connections.

        So you're right that they probably wouldn't care about the technical issues, and nor would they ever likely care if any difference was totally transparent (and thus irrelevant) to the man on the street. But it's not, and that's why "Super WiFi" is a crap and misleading name, even for Joe Public.

        Ya whatever. We have constantly been living within different wifi standards such as 802.11a/b/n/whatever. Non techies understand the differences, but joe blow just listens to whatever the bestbuy guy at the store says. Bestbuy guy hands him a router and a card or whatever and pats him on the head and moves along to the counter. Same thing with 3G compatibility for iPads or what have you. People understand that not all 3G is compatible. People don't even know what 4g is yet. But it's all just marketing crap

    • this pipe is diameter of 3.

      it should fit your pipe if it also measures 3.

      (do not worry if its cm or inches or even fractional yards. its Not Our Problem if this does not fit YOUR pipe).

      • by unitron (5733)

        this pipe is diameter of 3.

        it should fit your pipe if it also measures 3.

        (do not worry if its cm or inches or even fractional yards. its Not Our Problem if this does not fit YOUR pipe).

        If you've ever worked with plumbing pipe or electrical conduit you know that the one thing that is guaranteed is that no matter what system of units is used, if it says it's a 3 it's going to be either bigger or smaller than 3.

    • by evilviper (135110)

      A super nerd explains why super wifi isn't wifi. General population doesn't give a fuck, as wifi means "wireless internet" to them.

      That's not the point at all. The point is that they've started using a trademarked term in a very official way (not just informally saying "It's like super wifi.") such as in trade show names. This is public notice, a prelude to a big trademark infringement lawsuit over the misuse of the term WiFi.

      Imagine if DisplayPort was not named DisplayPort, but instead was listed everyw

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      general population starts caring when they'll receive a monthly bill for it though..

  • with software that can "sense" clear frequencies as they move around.

    As if that's going to be reliable as everyone jumps into these bands.

  • by Penguinshit (591885) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @01:42PM (#38850565) Homepage Journal
    WiFaux
  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @01:42PM (#38850567)

    It could become a real threat to cell phone carriers' 3G data monopoly, and could *snip*

    They're deploying this in the US, right? Ok. It's doomed. Move along folks, nothing to see here. Like they'd ever let you have something cutting edge that wasn't owned by a mega corporation. ha ha ha. You're so funny, slashdot.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      that whitespace techs need _higher_ co-operation between operators providing the service doesn't really bode too well for it cutting down the monopoly..

  • Summary (Score:4, Informative)

    by ceoyoyo (59147) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @01:52PM (#38850617)

    Why can't the summary just say that "super wifi" isn't "wifi" because "wifi" isn't a trademark, and not for any actual meaningful reasons?

    Although this quote was well worth skimming the article for:

    The term 'Super WiFi' is a verbal tool for conveying a thought or concept in an easy-to-understand way, such as when a child asks for a Band-Aid for a boo-boo, and you give him or her a generic brand plastic adhesive," a Wireless Innovation Alliance spokesperson said in a statement."

    • Why can't the summary just say that "super wifi" isn't "wifi" because "wifi" isn't a trademark, and not for any actual meaningful reasons?

      Although this quote was well worth skimming the article for:

      The term 'Super WiFi' is a verbal tool for conveying a thought or concept in an easy-to-understand way, such as when a child asks for a Band-Aid for a boo-boo, and you give him or her a generic brand plastic adhesive," a Wireless Innovation Alliance spokesperson said in a statement."

      But, if you go to a store and ask for Band-Aids and they give you a generic brand plastic adhesive, that's trademark infringement. Same reason why restaurant servers have to correct you when you ask for Coke, say, and they only have Pepsi.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by spire3661 (1038968)
        "But, if you go to a store and ask for Band-Aids and they give you a generic brand plastic adhesive, that's trademark infringement. Same reason why restaurant servers have to correct you when you ask for Coke, say, and they only have Pepsi." This is some logical diarrhea here. They say 'We only have Pepsi" because alot of people are like me and if I order Coke and it comes back Pepsi im gonna scream loudly. Has nothing to do with trademarks and everything to do with CUSTOMER SERVICE. Also in alot of the U
        • "But, if you go to a store and ask for Band-Aids and they give you a generic brand plastic adhesive, that's trademark infringement. Same reason why restaurant servers have to correct you when you ask for Coke, say, and they only have Pepsi."

          This is some logical diarrhea here. They say 'We only have Pepsi" because alot of people are like me and if I order Coke and it comes back Pepsi im gonna scream loudly. Has nothing to do with trademarks and everything to do with CUSTOMER SERVICE.

          1) That says nothing about the logic involved... if you're going to call something "logical diarrhea," you should explain why the logic is false.

          2) You're wrong. Specifically, the statutes involved are 15 USC 1114 (Lanham Act sec. 32) if the trademark is registered, and 15 USC 1125 (Lanham Act sec. 43) if it's not. Coke and Pepsi are, of course, registered, so 1114 is the relevant one:

          Any person who, on or in connection with any goods [e.g. selling Pepsi]... uses in commerce any word [e.g. "Coke"]... which--
          (A) is likely... to cause mistake... as to the origin... of his or her goods... shall be liable in a civil action by any person who believes that he or she is or is likely to be damaged by such act.

          It's known as "passing off", and is actionable.

          Also in alot of the US South, Coke is all pop, be it sprite, mt dew, 7up its all coke to them.

          Yep, and sellers there are supposed to correct it. If they bring Sprite when

          • by madmark1 (1946846)

            Actually, unless the person giving you the drink TELLS YOU the Pepsi is Coke, it still isn't infringement, just poor service. If the server called it Coke, then its a problem, since the statute states rather explicitly that the person uses a word in commerce that could cause confusion as to the origin of goods, then it's infringement. It says nothing at all about the customer asking for something and being given something else, or not correcting them in THEIR usage.

            Your waiter will likely never say to you

            • Actually, unless the person giving you the drink TELLS YOU the Pepsi is Coke, it still isn't infringement, just poor service. If the server called it Coke, then its a problem, since the statute states rather explicitly that the person uses a word in commerce that could cause confusion as to the origin of goods, then it's infringement. It says nothing at all about the customer asking for something and being given something else, or not correcting them in THEIR usage.

              Sorry, not true. And yes, there have been successful lawsuits over this.

              Your waiter will likely never say to your request for Coke "Sorry, but I am required by law to inform you we sell Pepsi." What they say is "Is Pepsi ok?" Because they know if they don't ask, someone will complain. It has nothing at all to do with being legally required to do so.

              They don't have to inform you that they're complying with the law. Asking if Pepsi okay corrects the misunderstanding and thus avoids any chance of confusion, removing any possibility of trademark infringement.

              • by madmark1 (1946846)
                I eagerly await the citations of successful lawsuits against Applebees for not making sure I understand they sell Pepsi.
      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        The reason restaurant servers tell you (they don't correct you) when they don't have Coke is because Coke and Pepsi apparently taste different and some people get very upset at the substitution. I guess you didn't grow up in the 80's hey?

        I've never been to a store (or anywhere else) where anyone cared the slightest bit about the difference between actual Band-Aids and other brands, or between Kleenex and other tissues for that matter.

        • by cellmaker (621214)

          The reason restaurant servers tell you (they don't correct you) when they don't have Coke is because Coke and Pepsi apparently taste different and some people get very upset at the substitution. I guess you didn't grow up in the 80's hey?

          There was a period of time where Pepsi and Coke very much minded. Servers everywhere were distinguishing which vendors product they carried ("Coke please". "Sorry, we only have Pepsi".) as if they were each individually monitored at all times. I quite often did not care, so I would ask for a diet cola. The response? "Sorry, we only have..."

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Theaetetus (590071)

          The reason restaurant servers tell you (they don't correct you) when they don't have Coke is because Coke and Pepsi apparently taste different and some people get very upset at the substitution. I guess you didn't grow up in the 80's hey?

          It's also so that they can avoid a lawsuit under 15 USC 1125 from Coke or Pepsi.

          I've never been to a store (or anywhere else) where anyone cared the slightest bit about the difference between actual Band-Aids and other brands, or between Kleenex and other tissues for that matter.

          You should probably make a note of them. Companies like Johnson and Johnson or Kimberly-Clark will frequently pay a bounty for information about retailers infringing their trademarks through passing off of generics.

          • A snotrag by any other name ...
            Why get some kid (or other underpaid clerk) fired or hassled with retraining for not kowtowing to a megacorp's attempts at being monopolistic over a term that has, for all intents and purposes, entered the common vernacular to mean "tissue"?
            Ratting on people is just sucky. If you personally want a Kleenex branded thin piece of paper to wipe your nose/mouth/ass on, do the decent thing and tell them to their face that they must have misunderstood your request. The other 50 (im
          • by madmark1 (1946846)
            Still wrong. Unless the merchant tells you it is Coke, then serves you Pepsi, no infringement has occurred. They aren't required to correct you in any way.
      • But, if you go to a store and ask for Band-Aids and they give you a generic brand plastic adhesive, that's trademark infringement. Same reason why restaurant servers have to correct you when you ask for Coke, say, and they only have Pepsi.

        That's why I these days always ask for "cola"...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by David_Hart (1184661)

      It's incorrect to use the Band-Aid analogy as both Band-Aids and generic bandages do exactly the same thing.

      In this case you have a technology being referred to as Super-WiFi when none of the existing, or upcoming, WiFi branded devices will work with the technology. So there is a real meaningful difference.

      It's more like going to the store and asking for a shovel and being given a garden hose...

  • It contains a brief admission that they're actually using it in conjunction with... you guessed it..wifi. So the solution they're rolling out first literally uses wifi. It acts as basically an extender to provide...wifi. I shall dub it "Super Wifi".

    Granted they probably won't always use this topology, but my bet is it will be very popular. So literally it provides extended range wifi. What the fuck is this guy in the article on about, exactly, then?

    • In Wilmington, the white-space network will initially provide backhaul to public Wi-Fi routers in two parks and connect four Webcams in a local garden, according to Forbes.

      This new technology is used to link individual Wi-Fi LANs. The technology itself has as much to do with Wi-Fi as does your home cable/DSL internet connection because it's hooked up to a router with Wi-Fi.

    • by unitron (5733)

      It contains a brief admission that they're actually using it in conjunction with... you guessed it..wifi. So the solution they're rolling out first literally uses wifi. It acts as basically an extender to provide...wifi...

      So they should just call it Wi-Fi Helper!

      I'm sure General Mills's lawyers won't mind.

  • Useless article (Score:3, Informative)

    by methano (519830) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @02:39PM (#38850857)
    So the real question is, if I go to Wilmington, can I hook up to their wireless network with my WiFi enabled iPad, PC, Phone, whatever? The article doesn't say. I kind of think not, but the article doesn't say. And that's the real difference. Most of us think it's OK to call it WiFi if we can connect with our WiFi enabled devices. If we can't, it's not WiFi and they shouldn't be using the term. So I still don't know the answer.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      the answer is NO. if you had actually RTFAed :
      You can't put a white-space radio into a phone or laptop because each white-space device must check its location against a database to determine which TV channels and wireless microphones are being used in the device's area, so they can avoid those channels.

    • Re:Useless article (Score:5, Informative)

      by hawguy (1600213) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @03:16PM (#38851041)

      So the real question is, if I go to Wilmington, can I hook up to their wireless network with my WiFi enabled iPad, PC, Phone, whatever? The article doesn't say. I kind of think not, but the article doesn't say. And that's the real difference. Most of us think it's OK to call it WiFi if we can connect with our WiFi enabled devices. If we can't, it's not WiFi and they shouldn't be using the term.

      So I still don't know the answer.

      The answer is no, you can't.

      But in many places you can't connect to their Wifi network using your 802.11b-only Wifi device because they restrict it to 802.11g only (because they don't want 11b devices slowing down everyone else). And you can't connect with your 802.11a-only Wifi device because their network only supports 2.4Ghz. And some places may keep you from connecting to their 802.11n enabled network with 802.11bg-only devices. And even if you connect with an 802.11n capable device, you may or may not see any 802.11n speeds depending on whether or not your device supports dual-band 802.11n.

      Even "Wifi" is not always "Wifi".

      • True, but...

        ... there are few b-only devices still in use, and most places don't restrict them.

        ... there were very few a-only devices sold. A never had much success prior the the introduction of a/b/g devices.

        ... there is no reason to restrict a publicly accessible network to n-only, that's just plain foolish. Most of the installed base of devices don't support n, and allowing g doesn't materially hamper the performance of n devices. This is one instance where it might make sense to disallow b-only devic

    • No, this new technology uses a completely different range of frequencies. At first it will only operate in fixed-location devices even.

      You can't put a white-space radio into a phone or laptop because each white-space device must check its location against a database to determine which TV channels and wireless microphones are being used in the device's area, so they can avoid those channels.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    One of the confusions here is that "Super Wi-Fi" is the colloquial name for the 802.22 WRAN standard, while "Wi-Fi" is the slightly-less colloquial name for the 802.11 WLAN standard. People see 802 and think Wi-Fi.

    • When someone says 802.3 I think Ethernet, not Wi-Fi.
      WiFi is 802.11a/b/g/n
    • People see 802 and think Wi-Fi.

      They shouldn't. IEEE 802 [wikipedia.org] defines LAN/MAN standards. Ethernet is 802.3, Bluetooth PAN is 802.15, and WiMAX is 802.16. "Wi-Fi" is a trademarked brand name for products using the IEEE 802.11 family of standards. This new technology has as much in common with Wi-Fi as Bluetooth and WiMAX do; there's no reason for it to mooch off the Wi-Fi name rather than using its own (perhaps the "Wi-Far" suggested above, along the same line as WiMAX).

    • One of the confusions here is that "Super Wi-Fi" is the colloquial name for the 802.22 WRAN standard, while "Wi-Fi" is the slightly-less colloquial name for the 802.11 WLAN standard. People see 802 and think Wi-Fi.

      "Super Wi-Fi" is not colloquial at all. It is a term coined by the FCC to refer to a specific implementation of the 802.22 WRAN standard (although it appears that the FCC would not mind it being applied to all such implementations). A colloquial term is one that has arisen in general usage to apply to something. This is a term that the FCC is attempting to push into general usage and it is likely to generate significant confusion. To make matters worse, while "WiFi" has become a colloquial term for 802.11

  • by viperidaenz (2515578) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @03:23PM (#38851071)
    Customer: "I was told my new ***** has the latest WiFi in it, but its not working"
    Poor helpdesk worker: "That's because Super Wi-Fi isn't compatible with WiFi"
    Customer: "Who's stupid idea was it to call it Super Wi-Fi then?"
    Poor helpdesk worker: "Someone who thought it would help you understand what it is"
    Customer: "But now I'm even more confused"
    • by stdarg (456557)

      No chance -- I think part of the thing for trademarks is you're supposed to protect them. Well look at this article from 2007:

      http://www.wi-fiplanet.com/columns/article.php/3674591 [wi-fiplanet.com]

      Frank Hanzlik, the current managing director for the Wi-Fi Alliance, was not at the meetings where the Interbrand names were discussed, but he was a member of WECA and he is now entrusted with protecting and perpetuating the Wi-Fi brand. He confirms that "wireless fidelity" has no meaning, is not part of the trademark, and is not used or encouraged to be used by the Wi-Fi Alliance. However, he feels no need to aggressively correct those who use it, since what's most important to his organization is simply that "Wi-Fi" continues to be a household name.

      "In the very early days of building the brand, there was a linkage to the hi-fi chronology," says Hanzlik. "It was successful in creating a positive connotation of what that could mean to a user. Over the last seven years, the term Wi-Fi has become quite ubiquitous in the developed part of the world. We just try to keep it simple and use only Wi-Fi."

      "We declared victory when we made the Merriam-Webster dictionary," says Hanzlik. "Now we encourage everyone to use Wi-Fi versus 'wireless LAN,' because it resonates more with folks -- but we do enforce the Wi-Fi Certified and the Wi-Fi Alliance brands and logos."

      So they had no problem with people using wi-fi incorrectly, assigning it an incorrect meaning, or any desire to prevent it from becoming a common word in the dictionary, or a household name (which I think is pretty close to saying generic). I mean he's even saying "just use wi-fi instead of wireless lan." Okay... that's like klee

    • Customer: "I was told my new ***** has the latest WiFi in it, but its not working" Poor helpdesk worker: "That's because Super Wi-Fi isn't WiFi and is not compatible with WiFi" Customer: "Whose stupid idea was it to call it Super Wi-Fi then?" Poor helpdesk worker: "Someone with the government" Customer: "Oh, no wonder it doesn't make any sense" My personal take on that.
  • Who cares? I've never heard anyone speak of "WiFi". IEEE 802.11 is called WLAN, except by some marketing guys.

    Or is this a local issue?

  • by MacGyver2210 (1053110) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @03:41PM (#38851135)

    I don't always use WiFi, but when I do, I use SUPER WiFi.

  • by msobkow (48369) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @03:50PM (#38851185) Homepage Journal

    "WiFi" may be a common term, but if it's a trademarked common term, the trademark holders should be suing for it's infringement by "Super WiFi".

    I'm quite certain if you started talking about your "Super Kleenex" product, you'd have some lawyers on your butt, no matter how "generic" the term Kleenex may be in public usage.

    • The problem is that the organization that coined the term "Super WiFi" is the FCC. I hope you can see the problems a company (or organization of companies) that sells devices using radio waves might have with suing the FCC.
      • by msobkow (48369)

        So they can bend over and take it like good corporate sheep, or they can stand up to the government.

        Too many people and companies are afraid of their own government.

        The government exists to server US, not the other way around.

        • While it is all well and good to say that they should stand up to the government, this is not just about standing up to the government (which has more resources than the company) this is about standing up to the department of the government that can make your business very difficult day in and day out by interpreting every rule in the way most disadvantageous to your company.
          • by msobkow (48369)

            Cowards get the government they deserve.

            And I DO, I don't TALK. I'm in battle with ISC (Information Services Corporation) of Saskatchewan to demand that they deliver on their published service level agreement of 1-2 weeks processing time for a paper-filed incorporation submission instead of the 7 weeks they're now trying to claim it's going to take.

            THEY mismanaged my expectations and published the erroneous estimates for MONTHS. Their bad, their problem, and it's up to them to figure out a way to res

            • So, does your livelihood rely on decisions made by the ISC on matters only peripherally related to the matter you are fighting them over (I am completely unfamiliar with the ISC)? Will decisions the ISC makes on matters unrelated to what you are fighting them about effect your ability to make your living? That is not to say that the battle you are fighting is not an admirable one, just that if the answers to those questions are not "yes", then the situation you are in is not comparable to that of these comp
  • Seems like a lawyer either will be explaining the concept of trademark to his client or will be defending the claim that "Wi-Fi" and "wifi" are not "confusingly similar" to a judge.

    The Wi-Fi Alliance's only real next step is to defend their trademark in an attempt to prevent it from becoming genericized [wikipedia.org].

  • by Red_Chaos1 (95148) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @05:37PM (#38851653)

    ...I'll just chalk this up to pedantics. There is no "fidelity" to wireless anyway. HiFi makes sense. WiFi doesn't. This whole things is stupid, now stop taking it so seriously.

  • or operate. thus gaining goodwill.

    marketing whitespace as wifi is just piggypacking on wifi's success that comes with the ease of just being able to join a network in starbucks or wherever.

    4g sounds expensive, especially if you're in the states.

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