Purpose – Using a brief history of the development of WLAN standards and products this paper seeks to explain how unlicensed spectrum regulations by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have affected the industry. Design/methodology/approach – The paper's approach is one of personal experience. Findings – In general, the FCC's initiative to create an “unlicensed commons” for various forms of wireless communication applications has been the key enabler of today's multi‐billion dollar per year WLAN industry. In particular, certain regulatory decisions over the past 25 years regarding these bands have had profound, generally beneficial but sometimes unexpected influence on the WLAN industry. Originality/value – The paper attempts to document these inflection points and their impacts on WLANs as well as to provide some insight as to how future evolutions of the unlicensed spectrum regulations can best enable optimal usage of this valuable spectrum.
info – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 14, 2009
Keywords: Local area networks; Wireless; Technical regulations