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Difference between WLAN IR vs WLAN SS vs WLAN RF

Th Wireless LAN has been categorized based on transmission technique. Based on this, there are three major types viz. Infrared (IR) LAN, Spread Spectrum (SS) LAN and Microwave Radio Frequency (RF) LAN. This page describes WLAN IR vs WLAN SS vs WLAN RF describes difference between WLAN Infrared, spread spectrum and RF types.

Infrared- IR WLAN

As we know infrared light can not pass through the walls, one cell of IR WLAN is limited to the single building room. There are two types of IR Wireless LAN viz. diffused infrared and directed beam infrared. Following are the features of IR WLAN.
•  Diffused infrared WLAN supports data rate of 1-4Mbps and directed beam infrared WLAN supports 1-10 Mbps.
•  Mobility support : stationary and mobile ( Diffused IR), stationary with LOS (Directed beam IR)
•  Coverage Range: 15 to 60 meters ( Diffused IR), 25 meters (Directed beam IR)
•  Wavelength : 800 to 900 nm
•  Modulation type supported : ASK
•  Access Method : CSMA( Diffused IR) , Token ring and CSMA(Directed beam IR)

Spread Spectrum- SS WLAN

This type of WLAN operates in ISM bands and hence licensing is not needed to operate them. There are two types of SS Wireless LAN viz. Frequency hopping and direct sequence. Following are the features of SS WLAN.
•  Data rate : 1 to 3 Mbps for Frequency hopping (FH) and 2 to 20 Mbps for direct sequence (DS) .
•  Mobility : Frequency hopping supports full mobility, DS supports stationary/mobile mode.
•  Coverage range : 30 to 100 meters(FH) and 30 to 250 (DS)
•  Frequency support: 902 to 928 MHz, 2.4 to 2.4835 GHz, 5.725 to 5.85 GHz
•  Modulation type : FSK in FH and QPSK in DS
•  Device radiated power is less than 1Watt
•  Access Method: CSMA

Microwave Radio Frequency- RF WLAN

This type of RF based Wireless LAN operates in both licensed and unlicensed bands. Following are the features of RF WLAN type:
•   Data rate : 10 -20 Mbps
•   Supports both stationary and mobile mode
•   Coverage range : 10-40 meters
•   Frequency range supported: 902-928MHz, 5.2-5.775GHz, 18.825-19.205GHz
•   Modulation type : FS/QPSK
•   Device radiates power of typically about 25mWatt
•   Access method : Reservation ALOHA and CSMA

What is Difference between

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RF and Wireless Terminologies

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