Wi‑Fi (IEEE 802.11) is a short range wireless technology that enables data exchange or internet connectivity over the unlicensed 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.
Ideal for wireless connectivity with LAN infrastructures
Wi‑Fi is the preferred short range wireless technology to connect to a LAN infrastructure and to achieve high data rates. It is well suited for video streaming, monitoring, and data acquisition, but can also be used for time critical control. Further, the built‑in roaming functionality is useful in factory automation applications with moving devices.
The IEEE 802.11 specifications have evolved over the years to cover more capabilities. Through higher bandwidth and new modulations as well as MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) technologies, higher data throughputs (and thus new applications) have been accomplished. For instance, IEEE 802.11ac was released in December 2013 enabling multiple high quality video streaming to several devices useful in, for instance, in‑car infotainment systems. Besides evolving radio specific capabilities, new specifications have been designed to focus on increased security features, network management, improved roaming, etc.
Most Wi‑Fi devices, as well as other wireless technologies such as Bluetooth or ZigBee, operate in the 2.4 GHz band. As a result, this band easily becomes crowded, especially in urban environments. IEEE 802.11 b, g radios utilize the 2.4GHz frequency band and the IEEE 802.11 a, ac radios utilizes the 5 GHz frequency band. IEEE 802.11n radios can operate in either frequency band.
Wi‑Fi and LTE often co‑exist in the same device. Simultaneous operation of these radios in adjacent frequency bands causes interference that can degrade performance and throughput. To optimize performance some u‑blox modules employ a filter to protect the Wi‑Fi radio from interfering signals.
|Frequency band (GHz)||Max data rate (Mbps)|
|802.11n||2.4 & 5||150|