It’s good to see that both the IEEE 802.11n draft Standard and the Wifi-Alliance certification program require that future draft 802.11n Wifi devices also have to support the 802.11e QoS standard, sometimes also referred to as Wireless Multimedia (WMM).
WMM introduces Quality of Service for the Wifi Air Interface which means certain traffic flows can be prioritized over others. This is important for example when high bandwidth streaming and several phone calls are to be carried over the same wireless access point simultaneously.
By requiring QoS support from 802.11n devices I think this functionality has a real chance to become widespread in a relatively short amount of time which would probably not have happened otherwise.
- The 802.11n draft standard which confirms this in several paragraphs, like for example in a quite simple and not very easy to understand statement in chapter 5.2.8: "An HT STA is also a QoS STA"
For further information on WMM and how applications can use the functionality take a look at this previous blog entry.