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802.11e is a proposed enhancement to the 802.11a and 802.11b wireless LAN (WLAN) specifications. It offers quality of service (QoS) features, including the prioritization of data, voice, and video transmissions. The 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11e standards are elements of the 802.11 family of specifications for wireless local area networks (wireless LANs or WLANs). Business and consumer products using 802.11e are expected to become widely available in late 2004 or in 2005.
802.11e enhances the 802.11 Media Access Control layer (MAC layer) with a coordinated time division multiple access (TDMA) construct, and adds error-correcting mechanisms for delay-sensitive applications such as voice and video. The 802.11e specification provides seamless interoperability between business, home, and public environments such as airports and hotels, and is especially well suited for use in networks that include multimedia capability. It offers all subscribers high-speed Internet access with full-motion video, high-fidelity audio, and voice over IP.
Networks employing 802.11e operate at radio frequencies between either of two ranges: 2.400 GHz to 2.4835 GHz (the same as 802.11b networks), or 5.725 GHz to 5.850 GHz (the same as 802.11a networks). There are certain advantages to the higher frequency range, including faster data transfer speed, more channels, and reduced susceptibility to interference.
For a summary of and links to other specifications in the 802.11 family, see 802.xx Fast Reference.