The institute of electrical and electronics engineers (IEEE) is a professional organization with its headquarters in New York City. It has chapters all over the world with a membership of over 400, 000 individuals. The constitution of the organization describes its role as scientific and educational directed at the advancement of theory and practice of electronics, electrical, communications, computer science, and computer engineering. It is a leading standards development organization with standards in varied disciplines such as electric power and energy, biomedical technology and healthcare, information technology and information assurance. We are interested in the organization as a standard development organization in the information technology discipline.
As of 2013, the IEEE had over 900 active standards as well as over 500 standards in development. Among the active standards, the IEEE has the IEEE 802 LAN/MAN group of standards which includes the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet standard and the IEEE 802.11 Wireless Networking standard. This paper will look at the IEEE 802.11 wireless standard in detail. IEEE 802.11 is a standard for media access controls and physical layer used in the implementation of wireless local area networks (WLAN). They are developed for use in the frequency range of 2.4, 3.6, 5, and 60 GHz. The first standard in this category was issued in 1997 and supported Wi-Fi technologies. The 802.11 family consists of half duplex frequency modulation techniques. The 802.11-1997 standard was the first to be developed but 802.11b was the first universally accepted standard.
The specific segment of the frequency utilized by 802.11 varies from country to country. Furthermore, it is widely regarded as free. The promise for faster speeds led to this standard being quickly adopted. The reason for this is that 802.11g has higher maximum speeds as compared to 802.11b
Currently, many Wi-Fi devices support dual or tri-band with 802.11a and 802.11b/g. one port on the device is able to support these three standards. Activity of an 802.11b connection reduces the overall speed of the 802.11g connection. The gradual advancement in the standard has led to the latest iteration, 802.11g. 802.11b standard has a maximum speed of 11 Mb/s and uses exactly the same media access method as the 802.11-1997 standard.
Products using 802.11b were first developed in the early 2000s and due to the increased performance and drop in prices, it became widely accepted. 802.11b experiences interference from other devices using the 2.4 GHz frequency band such as cordless telephones and baby monitors. 802.11g is the third change in the standard and combines the advantages of 802.11a and 802.11b. Hardware that supports 802.11g hardware is backward compatible with hardware that supports 802.11b.
This is a stable standard and has the potential for being in use for a long time before becoming obsolete. The major problem with this standard is the interference by other devices using the same frequency band. The performance decrease when using both 802.11b and 802.11g devices is also a problem associated with this standard.
The international organization for standardization was founded in 1947. It has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The main objective of ISO is to promote proprietary, commercial and industrial standards worldwide. The organization has a technical management board, which is responsible for over 250 committees, which set the standards in various disciplines. The ISO works in collaboration with other institutions to set standards in various fields. For example, the ISO has worked with the International Electro technical Commission (IEC) to set standards and terminology for electrical, electronic and other similar technologies. The ISO/IEC joint technical committee 1 (ISO/IEC JTC 1) was created in 1987 and has developed, promoted and maintained information technology (IT) and information and communication technology (ICT) standards. The ISO/IEC 29341-1 developed in 2011 is an IT device architecture standard that defines the architecture of devices that connect to a peer-to-peer network.
It defines how communication takes place between devices and their control points. In order to discover and identify a device, the standard requires that the vendor specific information is identified. The information is discovered using a variety of protocols but are ultimately delivered to the device via IP.
This is a recent standard, to be adopted. It comes into a new field where many devices are now able to connect to the internet. This standard is robust in its definitions of a broad category of devices and how they access the internet. This is a stable standard and it can be in use for a long time before it becomes obsolete. This standard describes how devices connect to a network including wireless networks. Standards are very important for wireless networks. When wireless networks were first introduced for computing, the uptake was quite low. The reason is that in addition to being expensive, there were no standards. Each manufacturer had their proprietary specifications meaning that the devices were not interoperable. Each device came with its software and changing the device required the user to change the software as well. Standards have reduced the development costs, therefore, resulting in a drop in price of associated technologies. Specifications that are standard across all devices also mean that devices from different manufacturers can operate with each other on the same platform.
There are two types of standards namely official and public standards. An official body, for example, the IEEE or the ISO, manages official standards. Public standards are similar to official standards, but the main difference is that they are controlled by private organizations. Public standards are also referred to as de-facto standards. An example of such a standard is the Wireless LAN Interoperability Forum. De-facto standards are accepted and used but they have not been accepted by official standard organizations.
When de-facto standards are widely used by the public, they may be accepted as official standards by the official standards organizations. An example of such standards that have transformed from public to official standards is the TCP/IP protocol. Official standards are preferred where available since they ensure that the device will be accepted in all markets that use the standard. Public standards may not be as widely accepted as their official counterparts may but are preferred where the technology is changing at a fast rate. The lack of an official body overseeing them means that they are easily adaptable to the changes. Manufacturers of devices use many de-facto standards where no official standard is present. These standards help to ensure that many devices manufactured by different manufacturers can work together. For example, any manufacturer can manufacture a wireless access point but the customer can be assured that all these devices are going to work the same way.
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