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2.4GHz vs. 5GHz Deployment Considerations

By Jim Geier

http://www.wi-fiplanet.com/tutorials/article.php/1569271/24GHz-vs-5GHz-Deployment-Considerations.htm (Back to article)

When deploying a wireless LAN, companies must make a decision on whether to use network interface cards (NICs) and access points designed to operate in the 2.4GHz or 5GHz band (or both). Not too long ago the choice of frequency band was easy, when only 2.4GHz (i.e., 802.11b) products were available. Now, 802.11b and 802.11g products are both available that operate in the 2.4GHz band, while 802.11a use the 5GHz band. This can cause confusion when designing a WLAN, so let's take a look at what you need to consider when making this critical resolution.

Refer to Solid Requirements

When assessing the pros and cons of 2.4GHz and 5GHz systems, be sure to first define requirements. This provides a solid basis for defining all design elements. Without firm requirements, you'll be making the choice on flimsy ground.

The following are requirements that you should consider when deciding on whether to deploy 2.4GH or 5GHz solutions:

Final Thoughts

In most cases, you'll probably determine that 2.4GHz is the way to go for common office applications. 2.4GHz products are certainly inexpensive and capable of supporting most application requirements. There will be some situations, however, that will strongly benefit from the use of 5GHz, such as densely-populated environments and multi-media applications.

Jim Geier provides independent consulting services to companies developing and deploying wireless network solutions. He is the author of the book, Wireless LANs and offers computer-based training (CBT) courses on wireless LANs.

Join Jim for discussions as he answers questions in the 802.11 Planet Forums.