IEEE 802.11g-2003

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IEEE 802.11g-2003 or 802.11g is an amendment to the IEEE 802.11 specification that extended throughput to up to 54 Mbit/s using the same 2.4 GHz band as 802.11b. This specification under the marketing name of Wi-Fi has been implemented all over the world. The 802.11g protocol is now Clause 19 of the published IEEE 802.11-2007 standard, and Clause 19 of the published IEEE 802.11-2012 standard.

802.11 is a set of IEEE standards that govern wireless networking transmission methods. They are commonly used today in their 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n and 802.11ac versions to provide wireless connectivity in the home, office and some commercial establishments.


802.11g is the third modulation standard for wireless LANs. It works in the 2.4 GHz band (like 802.11b) but operates at a maximum raw data rate of 54 Mbit/s. Using the CSMA/CA transmission scheme, 31.4 Mbit/s[1] is the maximum net throughput possible for packets of 1500 bytes in size and a 54 Mbit/s wireless rate (identical to 802.11a core, except for some additional legacy overhead for backward compatibility). In practice, access points may not have an ideal implementation and may therefore not be able to achieve even 31.4 Mbit/s throughput with 1500 byte packets. 1500 bytes is the usual limit for packets on the Internet and therefore a relevant size to benchmark against. Smaller packets give even lower theoretical throughput, down to 3 Mbit/s using 54 Mbit/s rate and 64 byte packets.[1] Also, the available throughput is shared between all stations transmitting, including the AP so both downstream and upstream traffic is limited to a shared total of 31.4 Mbit/s using 1500 byte packets and 54 Mbit/s rate.

802.11g hardware is fully backwards compatible with 802.11b hardware. Details of making b and g work well together occupied much of the lingering technical process. In an 802.11g network, however, the presence of a legacy 802.11b participant will significantly reduce the speed of the overall 802.11g network. Some 802.11g routers employ a back-compatible mode for 802.11b clients called 54g LRS (Limited Rate Support).

The modulation scheme used in 802.11g is orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) copied from 802.11a with data rates of 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, and 54 Mbit/s, and reverts to CCK (like the 802.11b standard) for 5.5 and 11 Mbit/s and DBPSK/DQPSK+DSSS for 1 and 2 Mbit/s. Even though 802.11g operates in the same frequency band as 802.11b, it can achieve higher data rates because of its heritage to 802.11a.

Technical description[edit]

Of the 52 OFDM subcarriers, 48 are for data and 4 are pilot subcarriers with a carrier separation of 0.3125 MHz (20 MHz/64). Each of these subcarriers can be a BPSK, QPSK, 16-QAM or 64-QAM. The total bandwidth is 20 MHz with an occupied bandwidth of 16.6 MHz. Symbol duration is 4 microseconds, which includes a guard interval of 0.8 microseconds. The actual generation and decoding of orthogonal components is done in baseband using DSP which is then upconverted to 2.4 GHz at the transmitter. Each of the subcarriers could be represented as a complex number. The time domain signal is generated by taking an Inverse Fast Fourier transform (IFFT). Correspondingly the receiver downconverts, samples at 20 MHz and does an FFT to retrieve the original coefficients. The advantages of using OFDM include reduced multipath effects in reception and increased spectral efficiency.

MCS index RATE bits Modulation
Data rate
13 1101 BPSK 1/2 6
16 1111 BPSK 3/4 9
5 0101 QPSK 1/2 12
7 0111 QPSK 3/4 18
9 1001 16-QAM 1/2 24
11 1011 16-QAM 3/4 36
1 0001 64-QAM 2/3 48
3 0011 64-QAM 3/4 54


The then-proposed 802.11g standard was rapidly adopted by consumers starting in January 2003, well before ratification, due to the desire for higher speeds and reductions in manufacturing costs. By summer 2003, most dual-band 802.11a/b products became dual-band/tri-mode, supporting a and b/g in a single mobile adapter card or access point.

Despite its major acceptance, 802.11g suffers from the same interference as 802.11b in the already crowded 2.4 GHz range. Devices operating in this range include microwave ovens, Bluetooth devices, baby monitors and digital cordless telephones, which can lead to interference issues. Additionally, the success of the standard has caused usage/density problems related to crowding in urban areas. To prevent interference, there are only three non-overlapping usable channels in the U.S. and other countries with similar regulations (channels 1, 6, 11, with 25 MHz separation), and four in Europe (channels 1, 5, 9, 13, with only 20 MHz separation). Even with such separation, some interference due to side lobes exists, though it is considerably weaker.

Channels and frequencies[edit]

802.11b/g channels in 2.4 GHz band
IEEE 802.11g channel to frequency map [2]
Channel Center frequency Channel width Overlapping channels
1 2.412 GHz 2.401 GHz - 2.423 GHz 2,3,4,5
2 2.417 GHz 2.406 GHz - 2.428 GHz 1,3,4,5,6
3 2.422 GHz 2.411 GHz - 2.433 GHz 1,2,4,5,6,7
4 2.427 GHz 2.416 GHz - 2.438 GHz 1,2,3,5,6,7,8
5 2.432 GHz 2.421 GHz - 2.443 GHz 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9
6 2.437 GHz 2.426 GHz - 2.448 GHz 2,3,4,5,7,8,9,10
7 2.442 GHz 2.431 GHz - 2.453 GHz 3,4,5,6,8,9,10,11
8 2.447 GHz 2.436 GHz - 2.458 GHz 4,5,6,7,9,10,11,12
9 2.452 GHz 2.441 GHz - 2.463 GHz 5,6,7,8,10,11,12,13
10 2.457 GHz 2.446 GHz - 2.468 GHz 6,7,8,9,11,12,13
11 2.462 GHz 2.451 GHz - 2.473 GHz 7,8,9,10,12,13
12 2.467 GHz 2.456 GHz - 2.478 GHz 8,9,10,11,13,14
13 2.472 GHz 2.461 GHz - 2.483 GHz 9,10,11,12,14
14 2.484 GHz 2.473 GHz - 2.495 GHz 12,13
Note: Not all channels are legal to use in all countries.

See also[edit]



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  2. ^[dead link]
  3. ^ "Official IEEE 802.11 working group project timelines". Jan 26, 2017. Retrieved 2017-02-12. 
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  6. ^ "IEEE 802.11ac: What Does it Mean for Test?" (PDF). LitePoint. October 2013. 
  7. ^ Lee, Wookbong; Kwak, Jin-Sam; Kafle, Padam; Tingleff, Jens; Yucek, Tevfik; Porat, Ron; Erceg, Vinko; Lan, Zhou; Harada, Hiroshi (2012-07-10). "TGaf PHY proposal". IEEE P802.11. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  8. ^ "802.11ad - WLAN at 60 GHz: A Technology Introduction" (PDF). Rohde & Schwarz GmbH. November 21, 2013. p. 14. 
  9. ^ 802.11ad Antenna Differences: Beamsteering, Gain and Range
  10. ^ Sun, Weiping; Choi, Munhwan; Choi, Sunghyun (July 2013). "IEEE 802.11ah: A Long Range 802.11 WLAN at Sub 1 GHz" (PDF). Journal of ICT Standardization. 1 (1): 83–108. doi:10.13052/jicts2245-800X.125.