Standard amendment

A new amendment to the IEEE 802.11 standard will enable WLAN vendors to offer wireless products that adapt to new frequencies, different channel widths, and operating parameters.

A new amendment to the IEEE 802.11 standard will enable Japanese WLAN vendors to offer wireless products that adapt to new frequencies, different channel widths, and operating parameters.

“With existing spectrum used by more and more products, IEEE 802.11j was developed to allow WLAN products to take advantage of new frequencies and operating modes,” said Stuart J. Kerry, Chair of the IEEE 802.11 standards committee.

IEEE 802.11j, “Wireless LAN Medium Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY) Specifications: 4.9 – 5 GHz Operation in Japan,” takes advantage of spectrum and technology that has emerged since the original IEEE 802.11 standard was written in 1997.

In August 2002, the Japanese Government published new rules to use 4.9 and 5 GHz bands in hot spot (indoor), fixed (outdoor), and nomadic (mobile) modes using Wireless LAN technology. IEEE 802.11j amends IEEE 802.11 to deliver a standard method of supporting these capabilities with new technologies such as the ability to change channel widths and dynamically modify radio capabilities.

“We wrote this amendment to enable IEEE 802.11 to scale to new regulatory requirements and uses envisioned by carriers, manufacturers, and end users around the world,” said Sheung Li, Chair of the IEEE 802.11j Task Group.

The amendment is targeted to the new Japanese rules, and allows IEEE 802.11 networks to communicate and move to any new frequency, change the spectrum footprint to improve performance or user capacity, and communicate new rules and operating parameters to support both indoor and outdoor modes. Depending on the manufacturer, IEEE 802.11 products may be upgraded to use IEEE 802.11j features to take advantage of these new capabilities.

“These and other enhancements in the amendment should assure that IEEE 802.11j-based wireless LAN products can meet the growing needs of IEEE 802.11 WLAN applications in Japan and other markets,” Kerry said.

IEEE 802.11 standards form a family of specifications that define how WLAN equipment should be produced so equipment from different manufacturers can work together.

IEEE 802.11j was developed by the IEEE 802.11 Working Group, which is sponsored by the IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee of the IEEE Computer Society.