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802.11 wireless networks Réseaux sans fil 802.11
The radio spectrum is a limited resource that must be shared by everyone. During most of the twentieth century, governments and international organizations have regulated most of the radio spectrum. This regulation controls the utilization of the radio spectrum, in order to prevent interference among different users. A company that wants to use a frequency range in a given region must apply for a license from the regulator. Most regulators charge a fee for the utilization of the radio spectrum and some governments have encouraged competition among companies bidding for the same frequency to increase the license fees.
In the 1970s, after the first experiments with ALOHANet, interest in wireless networks grew. Many experiments were done on and outside the ARPANet. One of these experiments was the `first mobile phone <>`_ , which was developed and tested in 1973. This experimental mobile phone was the starting point for the first generation analog mobile phones. Given the growing demand for mobile phones, it was clear that the analog mobile phone technology was not sufficient to support a large number of users. To support more users and new services, researchers in several countries worked on the development of digital mobile telephones. In 1987, several European countries decided to develop the standards for a common cellular telephone system across Europe : the `Global System for Mobile Communications` (GSM). Since then, the standards have evolved and more than three billion users are connected to GSM networks today.
While most of the frequency ranges of the radio spectrum are reserved for specific applications and require a special license, there are a few exceptions. These exceptions are known as the `Industrial, Scientific and Medical <>`_ (ISM) radio bands. These bands can be used for industrial, scientific and medical applications without requiring a license from the regulator. For example, some radio-controlled models use the 27 MHz ISM band and some cordless telephones operate in the 915 MHz ISM. In 1985, the 2.400-2.500 GHz band was added to the list of ISM bands. This frequency range corresponds to the frequencies that are emitted by microwave ovens. Sharing this band with licensed applications would have likely caused interference, given the large number of microwave ovens that are used. Despite the risk of interference with microwave ovens, the opening of the 2.400-2.500 GHz allowed the networking industry to develop several wireless network techniques to allow computers to exchange data without using cables. In this section, we discuss in more detail the most popular one, i.e. the WiFi [IEEE802.11]_ family of wireless networks. Other wireless networking techniques such as `BlueTooth <>`_ or `HiperLAN <>`_ use the same frequency range.
Today, WiFi is a very popular wireless networking technology. There are more than several hundreds of millions of WiFi devices. The development of this technology started in the late 1980s with the `WaveLAN <>`_ proprietary wireless network. WaveLAN operated at 2 Mbps and used different frequency bands in different regions of the world. In the early 1990s, the IEEE_ created the `802.11 working group <>`_ to standardize a family of wireless network technologies. This working group was very prolific and produced several wireless networking standards that use different frequency ranges and different physical layers. The table below provides a summary of the main 802.11 standards.
Typical throughput
Max bandwidth
Range (m) indoor/outdoor
2.4 GHz
0.9 Mbps
2 Mbps
Component Translation Difference to current string
This translation Propagated Translated cnp3-ebook/protocols/wifi
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Propagated Translated cnp3-ebook/protocols/lan


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cnp3-ebook / protocols/wifiFrench

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cnp3-ebook / protocols/wifiFrench

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locale/fr/LC_MESSAGES/protocols/wifi.po, string 1