The 802.11 Extensions - 802.11g

IEEE 802.11 LMSC adopted the 802.11g standard in late 2001. The 802.11g standard is still under development. The 802.11g standard operates in the 2.4−GHz band and provides speeds up to 54 Mbps (with a fallback to 48, 36, 24, 18, 11, 5.5, 2, and 1 Mbps).

The 802.11g differs from 802.11b because it can optionally use OFDM (802.11g draft mandates that OFDM be used for speeds above 20 Mbps).

Enhancements Offered by 802. 11g over 802.11

The most important enhancement offered by 802.11g is its higher speed. The ability to operate up to 54 Mbps provides 802.11g a higher edge over other 802.11 compliant devices that operate in the 2.4−GHz band.

The support of OFDM is another enhancement that 802.11g maintains over the basic 802.11 standard. OFDM will allow 802.11g to operate in a more efficient manner than the rest of the 802.11−compliant 2.4−GHz devices.

802.11g Applications

The 802.11g devices are not available yet. However, electrical industry analysts predict that when 802.11g becomes available, it would be the only choice that users would consider, as it provides the direct upgrade path and interoperability with the 802.11b standard devices.

  • SoHo

SoHo users would prefer purchasing 802.11g devices to the currently available 802.11b. Again all credit goes to the backward compatibility and the higher speed that 802.11g provides. However, those users who are not very computer savvy might still go with the 802.11b solutions because they might be cheaper.

  • Enterprise

Enterprise users would be the primary targets for the 802.11g−compliant devices. The devices built on the 802.11g standard would be a logical upgrade path for the current 802.11b users.

The backward compatibility of 802.11g allows 802.11b devices to coexist in the same network environment. This will enable an enterprise IT to selectively upgrade the 802.11b users to 802.11g.

  • WISPs

WISPs would find it attractive to deploy the 802.11g devices, as this would enable a broader user base to access the services they offer.

  • 802.11g Interoperability and Compatibility with 802.11

Since 802.11g is backward compatible with the 802.11b standard, industry critics are looking forward to its arrival in the marketplace.

The 802.11g devices would be the logical choice for the current users of 802.11b who are seeking higher speeds and are willing to upgrade only to a standard that is backward compatible.

The 802.11g standard satisfies such users by operating in the 2.4−GHz band and supporting DSSS for speeds up to 20 Mbps (to be compatible with 802.11b, 802.11g needs to operate in DSSS in only up to 11 Mbps).

The 802.11g devices would directly compete with the 802.11a devices, as 802.11g provides the backward compatibility that 802.11a does not. However, 802.11a operates in a less congested RF band than 802.11g does.

802.11g Limitations

Though 802.11g devices would provide higher speed than the currently available 802.11b devices, it still suffers the interference issue with other devices operating in the same RF band, primarily the Bluetooth devices.