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Issue of July 2003 
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802.11g standard ratified

The 802.11g WLAN standard has been recently ratified by the IEEE. This new standard runs at 54 Mbps and is almost five times faster than the prevailing 802.11b, which runs at 11 Mbps.

802.11b-based WLAN products have already gained a lot of market share in India and increased by 120 percent from 2001 to 2002 worldwide. The high data rates of 802.11g should encourage more enterprises and individuals to use WLAN solutions. The new standard is also backward-compatible with the old 802.11b, and will thus interoperate with any existing 802.11b equipment.

802.11g transmissions use the 2.4GHz frequency range. And this range is also shared by 802.11b, Bluetooth devices, and cordless phones.

Although products based on 802.11g have been around for a while, users have been hesitant to purchase them due to the lack of ratification. This news should remove any inhibitions.

However, another WLAN standard, 802.11a also offers 54 Mbps, but suffers less from interference mainly because it uses the 5GHz frequency range. A disadvantage is that it isn't backward compatible with 802.11b. The popular choice of enterprises and individuals remains to be seen.

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