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WLAN Radio Frequency Channels

WLAN operates in unlicensed radio frequency (RF) spectrum allocated by governing bodies in individual countries for signal transmissions. Apropriate regulatory bodies specify maximum allowable output power.

Refer to IEEE® Std 802.11™-2012, Annex E for detailed description of country information, operating classes, and behavior limits. The discussion here is restricted to identification of the WLAN operating frequency channel designations.

In general, the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands of operation designate channels spaced 5 MHz apart, with noted exceptions. As an example, the 2.4 GHz band designates channels 1 through 13 spaced 5 MHz apart plus a 14th channel 12 MHz from channel 13. Defined WLAN channel bandwidths are greater than 5 MHz, therefore cross-channel interference limits the number of designated usable channels. Access point deployments manage interference from neighboring cells by operating on non-overlapping channels. In the United States, the 2.4 GHz band designated usable non-overlapping channels are 1, 6, and 11.

The channel center frequency, FCENTER, is calculated using the starting frequency, FSTART, and the channel number.

FCENTER in MHz = FSTART + (5×Channel Number)

Example: Determine the center frequency for channel number 6 in the 2.4 GHz band.

FCENTER in MHz = 2407 + (5×6) = 2437 MHz.

802.11 channels

Channel Number

FSTART, Starting Frequency

Comments

1, ..., 13

2407 MHz

For country and release specific restrictions, refer to —
  • IEEE Std 802.11-2012 [1]

  • IEEE Std 802.11ac™-2013 [2]

14

2414 MHz

132, 133, 134, 136, 137, 138

3000 MHz

131, ..., 138

3002.5 MHz

183, ..., 197

4000 MHz

182, ..., 189

4002.5 MHz

21, 25

4850 MHz

11, 13, 15, 17, 19

4890 MHz

1, ..., 10

4937.5 MHz

7, ..., 12, 16

34, ..., 60 in increments of 2

64

100, 104, 106, 108

112, 114, 116

120, 122, 124, 128

132, 136, 138

140, 144, 149

153, 155, 157

161, 165, 169

171, ..., 184 in increments of 1

5000 MHz

6, ..., 11

170, ..., 184 in increments of 1

5002.5 MHz

1, 2, 3, 4

56.16 GHz

For country and release specific restrictions, refer to —
  • IEEE Std 802.11ad™-2012 [3]

References

[1] IEEE Std 802.11™-2012 IEEE Standard for Information technology — Telecommunications and information exchange between systems — Local and metropolitan area networks — Specific requirements — Part 11: Wireless LAN Medium Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY) Specifications.

[2] IEEE Std 802.11ac™-2013 IEEE Standard for Information technology — Telecommunications and information exchange between systems — Local and metropolitan area networks — Specific requirements — Part 11: Wireless LAN Medium Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY) Specifications — Amendment 4: Enhancements for Very High Throughput for Operation in Bands below 6 GHz.

[3] IEEE Std 802.11ad™-2012 IEEE Standard for Information technology — Telecommunications and information exchange between systems — Local and metropolitan area networks — Specific requirements — Part 11: Wireless LAN Medium Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY) Specifications — Amendment 3: Enhancements for Very High Throughput in the 60 GHz Band.

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