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The Wireless Standard Shuffle from 1G to Wi-Fi 6 (.PDF Download)

April 5, 2019
The Wireless Standard Shuffle from 1G to Wi-Fi 6 (.PDF Download)

Much is being written and imagined about the many capabilities of future wireless-communications systems and reaching into higher frequency ranges. But current wireless systems are based on well-conceived standards, which have worked for many applications, from simple radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags for tracking goods in warehouses to more elaborate 4G Long Term Evolution (4G LTE) cellular wireless systems. 5G cellular technology may be coming, but existing standards define quite a bit of wireless-communications technology that already works quite well.

Wireless standards organize radio waves into separate spaces, from the shortest-distance personal area networks (PANs) to longer-distance satellite-communications (satcom) systems, so that those radio waves coexist with minimal interference. Scientific organizations like the IEEE and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) develop wireless standards for different technologies and applications, for compatibility and efficiency.