Frequently Asked Questions
If you have any questions about the Wireless LAN Association, please feel free to get in touch via our contact page.
Before you do that, we've collected a few of the more common questions we receive about the WLA, so please take a look to see if we've already answered your question below.
A1. Our Mission Statement is as follows:
"A professional association for the WLAN community,
defining industry best practices and quality assurance in the delivery of Wi-Fi networks."
Please see our "About" page for further information.
A2. The WLA started its life as the "Wireless LAN Advisory Board" (WLANAB).
The Wireless LAN Advisory Board (WLANAB) is a privately-held "Not-for-Profit" corporation, registered in the USA.
In 2016, the WLANAB rebranded itself, and created the trading name ("Doing Business As" or "DBA") of the "Wireless LAN Association" (WLA).
As a "not-for-profit" organization WLANAB, dba WLA, does pay its taxes. It does not hold tax-exempt status.
However, as a privately-held corporation, the WLANAB / WLA is not required to publicly provide its Annual (Financial) Reports.
To further define WLANAB's corporate and tax status:
Not-for-profit organizations are types of organizations that do not earn profits for its owners. All of the money earned by, or donated to, a not-for-profit organization is used in pursuing the organization's objectives and keeping it running.
Almost anyone can start a not-for-profit and apply for tax-exempt status, but most not-for-profit organizations won't qualify for 501(c)(3) status. 501c3 is only for charitable organizations. But not-for-profits can be organizations, like social clubs, that exist to serve their members.
Every not-for-profit has to maintain compliance with the state agency that regulates charitable organizations where it is based.
A3. To clarify, IEEE defines the 802.11 protocol standards on which WLANs operate; WFA is a network of companies which ensures interoperability between vendors and promotes certification of devices to specific subsets of the IEEE 802.11 protocol; Vendors create the devices which conform to the IEEE 802.11 protocol and the WFA certifications; BUT none of these organizations have standardized the design, implementation, or operation of wireless.
This is where the WLA comes in. The WLA, being an association of experienced, professional wireless engineers has the goal of codifying standards relating to the design, implementation, and operation of wireless. These best practices guidelines, when complete, will be shared with WLA members, and with industry, to encourage their adoption, with the goal of standardizing design and implementation methodology across the industry.
In addition, the WLA brings together a community of industry professionals who share their experiences with one another. This provides our members with a competitive advantage as they become more active and better informed members of the WLAN industry.
The Wireless LAN Association supports and advises its members as they improve their knowledge and technical expertise. WLA helps our members gain the skills they need through mentoring, training, and certification, thereby increasing customer confidence in the WLAN industry.
We provide a unified voice for our members and build strong links with other organizations. This allows the WLA to represent our members within the wireless industry, taking our member ideas and comments to other leading wireless organizations.
A4. The Wireless LAN Association has been formed to both provide industry best practices around the design, deployment and verification of WLANs and to provide a professional association for those designing, deploying and troubleshooting Wi-Fi networks on a daily basis.
Our members have personally experienced the inconsistent, and often poor, methods used for WLAN delivery across many industries globally. They feel that there is a critical need within our industry to provide a high-quality, well defined, best practice approach.
Our goal is to eradicate the poor practices that we observe by providing the required guidance, through best-practice standardization, for all organizations.
By joining the WLA, you will gain the satisfaction and fulfillment of being a part of this effort, which will make a difference to many organizations across the globe.
You will also have the chance to interact and collaborate with your industry peers as part of this professional association and become part of the the independent voice of engineers within the WLAN industry.
A5. The WLA was founded to give a voice to engineers and to improve the reputation of the industry.
As we grow and gain strength through numbers, we will be able to represent the views of its members to the wider industry, and work with the industry to create solutions for existing problems.
In addition, we are working to establish and publish a baseline level of design best practices within the industry.
A6. The WLA's registered office is in Utah HOWEVER our membership is located in various countries around the globe.
We have local chapters in which members, who are located close to one another, can meet and talk about wireless-related subject matter.
Our regular monthly meetings are held on a live-online platform.
A13. No. All officers give their time on a voluntary basis. (No-one receives compensation for their work on behalf of the WLA.)
As a result, we do not have an HR department, nor specific employer-employee HR policies.
We do, however, expect our members to maintain a standard of behavior, as would be expected in any professional workplace.
We have an Organization Chart, of officer volunteers, which can be found on our Meet the Team page.
A8. No, we are strictly a vendor-neutral organization.
Though our members may be employed by WLAN vendors or resellers, they contribute their expertise in a personal capacity, rather than on behalf of their employer.
We do not promote any vendor products or organizations.
The corporate sponsorship we receive is on a "no strings attached" basis. As a result of receiving corporate sponsorship, we are not beholden to that company, nor are we required to promote their products.
A9. As member of the WLA, you will:
- Attend regular monthly meetings
- Be a part of an active social network with access to WLAN professionals across many countries of varying disciplines and skill-sets
- Attend wireless related and technical webinars
- Have an opportunity to learn from the knowledge and experience of your fellow WLA members
- Participate in defining standards that will shape practices globally within the WLAN industry
- Participate in our Mentoring scheme
- Create and run, or participate in already active, member hobby Projects
- Receive a monthly newsletter which will keep you up-to-date with WLA activities and events and select news items about wha i's going on in the WLAN industry
A10. The cost of membership is $50.00 (USD) per year - that's less than $1.00 per week!
You can easily join the WLA through our sign-up page
A11. Joining is easy and quick! Simply complete and submit our sign-up form and start making new friends today!
A12. WLAN professionals may contribute by joining one of the committees that keep the WLA running.
The Executive Committee is comprised of elected members who each have significant knowledge of the Wireless Networking Industry and have many years of experience working within it.
The Standards Committee has been tasked with defining WLA best-practice standards for the entire wireless LAN design lifecycle. Knowledgeable members join the team to define this framework, which is a work-in-progress.
Or, if you prefer, you can help with the day-to-day running of the Association.
Alternatively, you can join in with Projects, or become an active member in a Local Chapter... there are many things you can do.
We are always looking for volunteers... and for new ideas!
A13. Absolutely not, however, we do encourage activity within the association for your and others' benefit, but you can be as active as you choose.
It is a great place to make friends in the industry and to network.
We offer opportunities to associate with other members and have fun (working on projects, etc.).
Membership of the various WLA committees is voluntary. As a member of the WLA, you are welcome to maintain your membership and enjoy the benefits of being part of the WLA community, without having to fulfill any committee obligations. However, if you would like to volunteer your services to any of our committees, we'd love to have you on board!
You can volunteer for a committee through your 'Members Area' page.