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Feature Planning Photo © BigStockPhoto/Michel Aubry Wi-Fi Systems in Buildings By Bob Chomycz, P.Eng. W i-Fi is a popular communication medium used for wirelessly connecting computers, laptops, smart phones, and surveillance cameras to the Internet or a local area network (LAN). In order to provide ubiquitous and reliable Wi-Fi coverage in a given area, proper planning of access points (AP) deployed throughout a building is essential. The AP is the gateway device connecting wireless Wi-Fi devices to the building’s wired data and Internet network. Poorly planned deployment within buildings can result in significant problems including spotty coverage, unreliable communication, and security risks. In 1999, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) introduced the first Wi-Fi standards to provide manufacturers with the necessary details to build interoperable equipment. These are: • IEEE 802.11a, Wireless LAN Medium Access Control and Physical Layer Specifications High-speed Physical Layer in the 5 GHz Band; and 82 December 2014 CC_Dec_14.indd 82 • IEEE 802.11b, Wireless LAN Medium Access Control and Physical Layer Specifications: Higher-Speed Physical Layer Extension in the 2.4 GHz Band. IEEE 802.11b allows for a transmission rate of up to 11 Mbps—a realistic maximum data throughput 6 Mbps—in the 2.4-GHz frequency band. IEEE 802.11a allows for transmission rate of up to 54 Mbps—a realistic maximum data throughput 24 Mbps—in the 5-GHz frequency band. Both standards are commonly used today, even though the transmission speed is slow compared to the current IEEE 802.11ac, Wireless LAN Medium Access Control and Physical Layer Specifications Amendment 4: Enhancements for Very High Throughput for Operation in Bands Below 6 GHz. In 2003, IEEE 802.11g, Wireless LAN Medium Access Control and Physical Layer Specifications Amendment 4: Further Higher Data Rate Extension in the 2.4 GHz Band, was introduced and provides up to 54 Mbps Co nstruction Canada 2014-11-06 10:07 AM