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Wireless Data Communications


Wireless technology is enjoying a boom similar to what the Internet was experiencing in 1990-1992. It is growing rapidly, but has not yet quite caught the public imagination.

I work in a senior engineering position in a company that makes wireless networking equipment. I am also becoming personally interested in this technology. Since this is my personal website, you will not find any links to my employer's business here; there are other ways to find out about that part of my life. Instead, you will here find background articles about the technology, and in some cases, links to other companies that are significant in the field.

Like other aspects of the telecommunications industry, wireless data can be segmented in different ways:

  1. By what it is used for:
  2. By whether the nodes are mobile or fixed
  3. By ownership:
  4. By link-layer protocol types:
  5. By frequency bands:
Each of these characterizations defines a different angle on the technology, which may impose particular restrictions, define requirements or open special opportunities.


In a field that is rapidly advancing, it is important to look beyond what can be currently be done , in order to get ideas for what is to come.

Introduction to IEEE-802.11

Many of the wireless data networks of the future will be based on the IEEE-802.11 standard for Wireless Local Area Networks. These networks are 1MBps, 2Mbps or 11Mbps, operating in the ISM-2.4 band, mostly indoors and at low power. However, many ISPs have added external power amplifiers and directional antennas (skirting the edges of FCC regulations) to create internet access networks covering areas of several square miles.

The following introductory articles will help you begin to understand 802.11:

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