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Wireless Glossary

IEEE 802.11b Standard

The IEEE standard that specifies a carrier sense media access control and physical layer specifications for 5.5 and 11 megabit per second wireless LANs.
Today 802.11b is the clear winner in business wireless networking. Operating in the 2.4GHz frequency range, 802.11b (aka Wi-Fi) has a nominal maximum data rate of 11Mbps, with the potential of three simultaneous channels. 802.11b has a great advantage in that it is accepted worldwide. One of the more significant disadvantages of 802.11b is that the frequency band is crowded, and subject to interference from other networking technologies, microwave ovens, 2.4GHz cordless phones (a huge market), and Bluetooth. There are drawbacks to 802.11b, including lack of interoperability with voice devices, and no QoS provisions for multimedia content. Interference and other limitations aside, 802.11b is the clear leader in business and institutional wireless networking and is gaining share for home applications as well.