802.11a is one of several specifications in the 802.11 family applicable to wireless local area networks (wireless LANs or WLANs). 802.11a provides specifications for wireless ATM systems and is used in access hubs.

Networks using 802.11a operate at radio frequencies between 5.725 GHz and 5.850 GHz. The specification uses a modulation scheme known as orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) that is especially well suited to use in office settings. In 802.11a, data speeds as high as 54 Mbps are possible. There is less interference with 802.11a than with 802.11b, because 802.11a provides more available channels, and because the frequency spectrum employed by 802.11b (2.400 GHz to 2.4835 GHz) is shared with various household appliances and medical devices.

For other 802.11 specifications, see the 802.xx Fast Reference.

This was last updated in April 2006

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