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Wireless LAN (WLAN)

Wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11) is well suited for monitoring, configuring and data acquiring, but can also be used for time critical control. Further, the built-in roaming functionality is useful in factory automation applications with moving devices. Implementing Wireless LAN in these types of applications often requires customized solutions such as tailored or proprietary roaming software as well as frequency planning and specific installation means (for example, the use of expensive leakage-cables). With these tailoring of the wireless solution, one achieves stabile latency and low roaming hand-over delays.

Wireless LAN Facts

  • Range of 200 meters (up to 400-500 meters in free line-of-sight) in the 2.4 GHz band and some 50 meters in the 5 GHz band (802.11a) (free line of sight up to 150 meters); however, obstacles and interference could lower the range substantially.
  • Data throughput of 11 to 54 Mbit/s gross (~5 to 25 Mbit/s net) for IEEE 802.11b/g and 300 Mbit/s gross (~70 Mbit/s net for IEEE 802.11n).
  • Security models like WEP, WPA, WPA2, TPIK and PSK EAP.
  • IEEE 802.11a operates on the 5 GHz band and provides the possibility for 19 additional non-overlapping channels in addition to the three non-overlapping channels in the 2.4 GHz band.
  • High availability in consumer products.

What is the Difference Between 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wireless LAN?

As the use of wireless technologies is increasing in the 2.4GHz band, interference problems can occur. To make sure that the wireless solution is robust, companies are starting to use the 2.4GHz band for office and IT communication and then use the 5GHz band for the manufacturing and M2M communication.

The Wireless LAN IEEE 802.11b/g radios utilize the 2.4GHz frequency band (2.412 – 2.472GHz) and the IEEE 802.11a radio utilizes the 5GHz frequency band (5.180 – 5.825GHz). IEEE 802.11n radios can operate in either frequency band. There are the following worldwide implementation attributes:

  • The 2.4GHz ISM band provides 13 overlapping channels spread equally over the frequencies plus a 14th channel used in Japan with the center frequency 2.484GHz. This leaves available only three non-overlapping channels in the 2.4GHz band.
  • The 5GHz ISM band is divided up into sub-bands called U-NII bands (Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure) and are usually named U-NII-1, U-NII-2, U-NII-2e, and U-NII-3 where U-NII-3 is not freely available worldwide. In total, this gives 23 non-overlapping channels where four of these have limitations based on location*.


 Channel

U-NII Band

Frequency (MHz)

United States
40/20 MHz

Europe
40/20 MHz

36

1

5180

Yes

Yes

38

1

5190

No

No

40

1

5200

Yes

Yes

42

1

5210

No

No

44

1

5220

Yes

Yes

46

1

5230

No

No

48

1

5240

Yes

Yes

52

2

5260

Yes

Yes

56

2

5280

Yes

Yes

60

2

5300

Yes

Yes

64

2

5320

Yes

Yes

100

2e

5500

Yes

Yes

104

2e

5520

Yes

Yes

108

2e

5540

Yes

Yes

112

2e

5560

Yes

Yes

116

2e

5580

Yes

Yes

120

2e

5600*

No

Yes

124

2e

5620*

No

Yes

128

2e

5640*

No

Yes

132

2e

5660*

No

Yes

136

2e

5680

Yes

Yes

140

2e

5700

Yes

No

149

3

5745

Yes

No

153

3

5765

Yes

No

157

3

5785

Yes

No

161

3

5805

Yes

No

165

3

5825

Yes

No

Table of U-NII bands in the 5GHz frequency band. (ref. www.wikipedia.com)

*) For FCC channels 120 – 132, use is restricted near airports due to the interference risk of the Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR). (ref. FCC KDB 443999). Canada requires a restriction on the channels 120 – 128. 

The connectBlue Wireless Product Range

The connectBlue wireless product range cover Classic Bluetooth products, Bluetooth low energy products, Wireless LAN /WLAN (IEEE 802.11a, b, g, n) products and IEEE 802.15.4 / ZigBee products. If you want to compare products regardless of wireless technology, select from the following options:

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