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Wireless communication is the transfer of data or information from one point to another without the use of physical connections. The distance e can be short for example in television remote control or may be thousands of kilometres as in deep space radio communications. It entails different mobile, fixed and portable cellular, two-way radios, wireless connections and personal digital assistance (PDA). GPS is another example of wireless communication, garage door or Garage door openers, wireless computer key board and mice, satellite television, radio receivers and cordless phones. This is the fastest growing sector of technology in the communication industry and has captured the attention of the media as well as the public. The subsection that has experienced exponential growth in the past one decade is the cellular system as it has gained a billion uses worldwide.

An over view of the wireless connection options

IEEE 802.11

It is a set of standards in implementing (WLAN) wireless local area network computer communications in the 2.4 GHz, 3.6 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands. They are maintained and created by the IEEE MAN/LAN Standard Committee initialled as (IEEE 802). IEEE 802.11 is a technological technique that uses over the air modulation technologies that have the same basic protocol. The most resent of these technologies is the 802.11b and h 802.11g which have been introduced in the market after the modification of the original standard IEEE 802.11-1997. IEEE 802.1a was introduced in 1999 and was also a modification of the original model.


IEEE 802.11-1997’s generations

IEEE 802.11a or 802.11-1999 was the first generation introduced after the modification of IEEE 802.11-1997. The model had higher specifications and its data rate was 54 Mbit/s using a band of 5 GHz. The model has been used worldwide especially in the corporate work place and due to technological advancements and new needs in the market, IEEE 802.11b and IEEE 802.11g were introduced respectively. IEEE 802.11a uses 52- subcarrier (OFDM) and has a maximum data rate of 54 Mbit/s and produces realistic net achievable mid-20 Mbit/s throughput, 12 of them can be used indoors while four fifth of 12 can be used outdoor at configuration of point to point.

802.1a has significant advantage as it uses 5 GHz; this is because 2.4 GHz is affected by traffic, which was the major disadvantage of the first model. Such traffic can cause conflict of data leading to degradation of service and frequent dropped connections. However this band width has some disadvantages, the overall range of 802.11a is less than the more resent generations, and thus they are more readily absorbed by walls and other solid objects than IEEE 802.11b and IEEE 802.11g therefore cannot travel far as the new models.

IEEE 802.11a is has very many benefits when propagating data in a high multipath environment, such as closed offices,  with the presence of the high frequencies, smaller antennas with higher RF system which on the other hand over come the disadvantage resulting from higher band of operation. The near absence of many interfering systems and the increased number of user channels (4-8 times as much as FCC countries) makes 802.11a reliable and aggregate bandwidth advantage over 802.11b/g. These are the reasons why the university would opt to use it instead of IEEE 802.11b/g.

IEEE 802.11b-1999

This is a modification of the original model IEEE 802.11-1997, it has extended throughput of 11 Mbit/s but it uses the same bandwidth of 2.4 GHz. Its marketing name is Wi-Fi and has been used all over the world and its amendment has introduced IEEE 802.11-2007. The devices using this technology suffer from interference from other devices operating with that range (2.4 GHz). Devices operating in that range include: microwave, cordless telephones, baby monitors and Bluetooth devices. User density problems and interference issues are one big problem that constantly frustrates the users.

The configuration used its point to point, an omnidirectional antenna is used for communication with the access point with one or more than one mobile or nomadic clients located in an accessible location with the coverage area of the access point. Typically the indoor range is 300 ft (90 m) hat 1Mbit/s and 100 ft (30 m) at 11 Mbit/s. The band width is shared among al users in a channel. It is cost effective as well compared to IEEE 802.11b and this makes it suitable for use in small scale devices as well as it reduced band width unlike a. The band within 802.11a can hardly be used for such small devices which use these range, and if so they would be very complicated and expensive too though their efficiency would be higher compare to that of 802.11b.

IEEE 802.11g

It is a modification of 802.11 but the throughput is extended to 54 Mbit/s, the band width is retained as 2.4 GHz as that of 802.11b or 802.11-1997. It is under the specification of the market name Wi-Fi and has been used all over the world. It the third modulation standard in the wireless LAN, it is fully compatible with 802.11b hardware, the  reason why b an g work well together is because they are products produced using similar modification. But the presence of b in g will significantly reduce the speed of g in the network.

By 2003 these technologies were already accepted in the market and most dual band 802.11a/b devices were modified to dual/tri band mode supporting all models a/b and g. However, despite the acceptance of g in the market in suffers from the same interference as b, this is because they all share the same range 2.4 GHz yet b is already crowded, devices operating under this range includes: baby monitors, microwave, blue tooth device, and microwave ovens which are prone to interference. It is practical that 802.1g carries all the disadvantages of 802.11b.


The suitable wireless connections for the university is IEEE 802.11a, this is evident from the wide range of advantages compared to the alternative 802.11b. This connection is much expensive compared to the b/g because of its services and modifications. It has a wide band width that can hardly be affected by traffic as well as interference. It speed is also high of 5 GHz facilitating efficiency in its services unlike that of b/g which is 2.4 GHz. Regardless of its disadvantages, which includes it high rate of absorption, its advantages out do the demerits.

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