Wireless technologies refer to technology that makes it possible to communicate over a distance without using wires or any other conductors. We can use wireless technology for both long and short distances. Wireless technologies network has based on electromagnetic waves like radio frequencies (RF), infrared (IR), satellite, etc. We can broadly classify wireless technologies as:
- Wireless Personal-Area Networks (WPAN)– This type of wireless operates in the range of a few feet. The Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Direct-enabled devices are used in Wireless Personal-Area Networks (WPAN).
- Wireless LANs (WLANs)– The WLAN devices can communicate in the range of a few hundred feet such as in a room, home, office, and in the campus.
- Wireless Wide-Area Networks (WWANs)– The WWAN devices can communicate as long-range such as a metropolitan area network, cellular network, and between intercity links through microwave relays.
The above classes of wireless technologies use different types of standards. Following is the short introduction about the various wireless technologies available to connect devices to these wireless technologies networks:
- Bluetooth– Bluetooth is the original IEEE 802.15 WPAN standard. It uses a device-pairing process to communicate. Bluetooth can communicate for short distance up to 100m.
- Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity)– This is an IEEE 802.11 WLAN standard providing network access to home and corporate users. It can send and receive data, voice and video up to the distance of 300m.
- WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access)– An IEEE 802.16 WWAN define the WiMAX standards. It provides wireless broadband access for the distance up to 50 km. It is the alternative of cable and DSL broadband connections. WiMAX also provides cellular broadband services since 2005.
- Cellular broadband– Cellular broadband includes different corporate, national, and international organizations providing cellular access to mobile broadband network connectivity. In 1991 the 2nd generation (2G) cell phones were introduced under cellular network. In 2001 third-generation (3G) and then in 2006 fourth-generation (4G) cellular technology was introduced with higher speed. Currently, the world is moving towards the fifth-generation (5G) cellular network. The 5G network is supposed to change your life with its revolutionary speed. The speed of 5G is measured in bytes instead of bits. The 5G peak download speed is 2.5 GB/s , or 2,560 MB/s. The 5G peak upload speed is 1.25 GB/s, or 1,280 MB/s
- Satellite broadband– This is very important for network access to remote sites using the directional satellite dish that is aligned with a specific geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) satellite. Satellite broadband is a more expensive system. It is an option for those who live in rural areas where conventional fixed-line based broadband services like DSL are not available. The speed of satellite broadband is lower than in conventional broadband lines.