Review Step 2c: Characteristics & Trade-offs – Wi-Fi


Wi-Fi is the commonly used name for the range of different radio access technologies that are based on the IEEE 802.11 group of standards, used mostly to transmit data over licence-exempt spectrum frequency bands. Wi-Fi is commonly used for personal local area networking, connecting the Internet to a Wi-Fi access point which in turn is connected to end-user devices. Wi-Fi-based mesh networks can also be deployed to connect villages and communities in underserved areas. Spectrum Regime: Unlicensed spectrum bands - ISM, 2.4 GHz, 5 Ghz, 6 Ghz (Wi-Fi 6) Coverage area: 100s of meters for local area access points; 10s of km for Point to Point (PtP) and Point to Multipoint (PtMP) radios Device costs: Low: Access Points (even Enterprise grade outdoor) < $300; PtP and PtMP < $500

Table 20: Comparison of various generations of Wi-Fi technology

Sources: Various