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802.11 is a set of technical specifications for networking and wireless communication, standardized by IEEE.

There are many versions and optional parts of 802.11, but the most common and well-known by far are those that define Wi-Fi, the global standard for wireless local-area networks (WLAN). The core standards for Wi-Fi include 802.11n (Wi-Fi 4), 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5), and 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6).

See: Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi 6E opens up a whole new frequency band at 6 GHz. This enables greater capacity and therefore better speeds. But both the network and device must support 6E in order to use the 6 GHz band. Not all countries allow Wi-Fi in that band (the US does.)

There are other, optional parts of 802.11 that enhance service on enterprise/campus Wi-Fi networks, among other functions. For example, higher-end phones may support 802.11r, which enables faster handoffs for devices in motion, and/or 802.11k which enables devices to more intelligently select the access point that will provide the best service.

Last updated Dec 12, 2023 by Rich Brome

Editor in Chief Rich became fascinated with cell phones in 1999, creating mobile web sites for phones with tiny black-and-white displays and obsessing over new phone models. Realizing a need for better info about phones, he started Phone Scoop in 2001, and has been helming the site ever since. Rich has spent two decades researching and covering every detail of the phone industry, traveling the world to tour factories, interview CEOs, and get every last spec and photo Phone Scoop readers have come to expect. As an industry veteran, Rich is a respected voice on phone technology of the past, present, and future.

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