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Michael Lowry Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
I work in Infrastructure Services at the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory.

Across IBM, there is a standard setup for wireless LAN access. There’s a public WLAN that provides access only to the internet; and there’s a private WLAN that provides access to both the internet and the corporate intranet. The private WLAN requires authentication via WPA/WPA2 Enterprise using LEAP or a certificate, and has a hidden SSID.

Both WLANs are served by the same access points.

The iPhone and iPod Touch do not automatically reconnect to the private WLAN with the hidden SSID.

Each time the iPhone wakes from sleep, the user must connect manually to the private WLAN. The user must go into Settings and then Wi-Fi, wait for the private WLAN to appear in the list (there’s always a delay) and then tap on it. Also, if one opens Mail or Safari application before connecting manually, the the blue pop-up list of available networks will not include the private WLAN with the hidden SSID.

This is a major inconvenience, because it adds half a minute or more to each operation that requires network access. Checking one’s email—something that should normally take no more than ten seconds—instead takes a minute or more, depending on how quickly one manages to connect.

This bug also results in needless expense, because network operations that should go over the local WLAN often go instead over the mobile phone network.

The inability of the iPhone/iPod Touch to reconnect automatically to networks with hidden SSID has been a problem since the original iPhone came out.

This problem is an obstacle preventing wider adoption of the iPhone within IBM.

Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
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