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Wireless - WiFi


Wi-Fi: ( Wireless Fidelity) Wi-Fi networks operate in the unlicensed 2.4 and 5 GHz radio bands, with an 11 Mbps (802.11b) or 54 Mbps (802.11a) data rate or with products that contain both bands (dual band). They can provide real-world performance similar to the basic 10BaseT wired Ethernet networks. Wi-Fi networks use radio technologies to provide secure, reliable, fast wireless connectivity. A Wi-Fi network can be used to connect computers to each other, to the Internet, and to wired networks which use IEEE 802.3 or Ethernet. 




IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi)

In 1990, the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) formed a group to develop a standard for wireless equipment. On June 26, 1997, a standard was finally developed called 802.11. The standard specified that the upper layers of the OSI model can not be modified, and WLANs must be implemented on the physical and data link layers. This provided the ability to run any operating system or LAN application on a WLAN without any modification. They accomplished this by doing upper layer features on the data link layer.

Protocol Release Date Frequency Bandwidth
IEEE 802.11 1997 2.4 GHz 1, 2 Mbps
IEEE 802.11a 1999 5 GHz 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps
IEEE 802.11b 1999 2.4 GHz 5.5, 11 Mbps
IEEE 802.11g 2003 2.4 GHz 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps
IEEE 802.11n expected mid-2007 2.4 GHz 540 Mbps

IEEE 802.16 (WiMAX)

Protocol Release Date Frequency Bandwidth
IEEE 802.16 December 2005 6 - 66 GHz up to 75 Mbps

Source: Sampalli, Srinivas,"Module 4: Wireless LANs", page 8, October 25, 2005.

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