History of Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) in the Unlicensed Bands

INFO, Special Issue August 2009, INFO Volume 11, Issue 5.  Kevin J. Negus, Camp Ventures, Hyattville, Wyoming, Al Petrick, Jones-Petrick Associates, Orlando, Florida.The wireless local area network (WLAN) is today a ubiquitous device often taken for granted as a default interface for networked devices by users and manufacturers alike. But not very long ago, it was most definitely not so. Rewind the clock ten years back to 1998 and not only are there bitter technical and business consortia differences on WLAN approaches, but there is extreme skepticism and variation in opinion as to how, or even if, WLANs can ever become a mainstream network interface. The WLAN of that day appeared to lack both the throughput of the wired local area network (such as 10/100 Ethernet LAN) and the coverage of the cellular network (which was supposed to be “imminently” upgrading to Mb/s data performance). The WLAN to that point had largely evolved as a slow and unreliable emulation of the wired LAN, only without the wire. And as such the products and standards largely envisioned the end application for WLAN as a replacement for wired LAN in enterprise or campus environments where mobile users would roam with their networked personal computers (PCs).


Series Navigation<< Wi-Fi and Bluetooth: The Path from Carter and Reagan-era Faith in Deregulation to Widespread Products Impacting Our WorldLicence-Exempt: The Emergence of Wi-Fi >>

Related posts:

This entry is part 6 of 9 in the series Unlicensed Wireless Conference 2008