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WiFi, WiMAX & RFID

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“What is WiFi?”

WiFi is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance, founded in 1999 as Wireless Internet Compatibility Alliance (WICA), comprising more than 300 companies whose products are certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance and based on the IEEE 802.11 standards (also called Wireless LAN (WLAN) and Wi-Fi). This certification warrants interoperability between different wireless devices.

WiFi certification covers IEEE 802.11 standards, including 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n.

WiFi 802.11b/g/n operate in the 2.4GHz frequency band and have a typical range of around 500 feet (with clear line of sight), whereas indoors a user can expect around 150 feet.

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“What is WiMAX?”

WiMAX is defined as Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access by the WiMAX Forum, formed in April 2001 to promote conformance and interoperability of the standard IEEE 802.16, also known as WirelessMAN. The Forum describes WiMAX as "a standards-based technology enabling the delivery of last mile wireless broadband access as an alternative to cable and DSL.”

WiMAX is designated as the Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) technology that can connect IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi) hotspots with each other and to other parts of the Internet. However, the field of uses is broader and overlaps those for mobile WAN (wide area networks) and WLANs. IEEE 802.16 provides up to 30 miles of linear service area range and allows connectivity between users without a direct line of sight.

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“What is RFID?”

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is the use of an object (typically referred to as an RFID tag) applied to or incorporated into a product, animal, or person for the purpose of identification and tracking using radio waves. Some tags can be read from several metres away and beyond the line of sight of the reader.

Most RFID tags contain at least two parts. One is an integrated circuit for storing and processing information, modulating and demodulating a radio-frequency (RF) signal, and other specialized functions. The second is an antenna for receiving and transmitting the signal.

RFID is used to improve the efficiency of inventory tracking and management within a supply chain.

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