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Definition: 802.11a is a Wi-Fi wireless network communication standard. It is one of the IEEE standards in the 802.11 series.

802.11a Performance:

An 802.11a wireless network supports a maximum theoretical bandwidth of 54 Mbps, a noticeable advantage over 802.11b Wi-Fi that supports 11 Mbps and on par with 802.11g performance. However, 802.11a installations historically were limited to corporate environments due to comparatively higher hardware equipment costs.

802.11a and Wireless Interference:

802.11a transmits radio signals in the frequency range above 5 GHz, a part of wireless spectrum regulated in many countries. This regulation means 802.11a gear generally avoids signal interference from other consumer wireless products like cordless phones. In contrast, 802.11b/g utilizes frequencies in the unregulated 2.4 GHz range and is much more susceptible to radio interference from other devices.

Range of 802.11a Networks:

Though it helps improve network performance and reduce interference, the range of an 802.11a signal is limited by use of the high 5 GHz frequency. An 802.11a access point transmitter may cover less than one-fourth the area of a comparable 802.11b/g unit. Brick walls and other obstructions affect 802.11a wireless networks to a greater degree than they do comparable 802.11b/g networks.

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