Eidgenössisches Departement für
Umwelt, Verkehr, Energie und Kommunikation UVEK
Bundesamt für Kommunikation BAKOM
Anlagen und Frequenzmanagement international
Sektion Grundlagen Funk
March 2017
WLAN Factsheet
Wireless Local Area Networks
Summary
WLANs are wireless local area networks. They enable easy wireless internet access within a building
or in the garden. In buildings with WLANs, distances of several tens of meters are typically bridged,
depending on the data rate.
Since as early as 1997, thanks to the IEEE 802.11 (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)
standards, there have been standardised air interfaces for these local wireless networks. These first
systems allowed a maximum gross data rate of 1 or 2 Mbit/s. On this basis, the standards have been
constantly extended, mainly to increase the data transfer rate. Today, with IEEE standard 802.11ac,
hypothetical gross data rates of up to 6.9 Gbit/s can be achieved; commercially, however, only equipment up to 1.7 Gbit/s is usually encountered. In practice, under real environmental conditions, 800
Mbit/s will typically be achieved.
There will be no end to the development of WLANs for a long time yet. The use of multiple antennas
(e.g. beamforming) is a promising approach to further increases in capacity.
Four public-domain frequency bands are currently available for WLANs. The most-used ranges are
2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. In addition, there are the 60 GHz frequency ranges (for very high data rates and
short distances up to approximately 10 metres) and 900 MHz (for relatively low data rates and relatively large distances of several hundred metres).
This fact sheet concentrates on the technical aspects of WLANs. The legal basis can be found at:
https://www.bakom.admin.ch/bakom/en/homepage/equipments-and-installations/particular-equipment/wlan-rlan.html.
FAQs about WLANs can be found at: https://www.bakom.admin.ch/dam/bakom/en/dokumente/haeufige_fragen.pdf.download.pdf/haeufige_fragen.pdf
Wireless Local Area Networks
Table of contents
1
Introduction ....................................................................................................................... 3
2
What is meant by a WLAN .................................................................................................. 3
3
Principle of a WLAN ............................................................................................................ 3
4
5
3.1
Access-Point (AP) ..................................................................................................................4
3.2
Mobile Terminal (MT) .............................................................................................................4
3.3
Services .................................................................................................................................5
Security .............................................................................................................................. 5
4.1
Confidentiality.........................................................................................................................5
4.2
Electromagnetic compatibility and the environment ..............................................................6
Applied standards .............................................................................................................. 6
5.1
DECT-based WLAN ...............................................................................................................6
5.2
WLAN according to IEEE 802.11 ...........................................................................................6
5.3
WLAN according to IEEE 802.11b .........................................................................................7
5.4
WLAN according to IEEE 802.11g .........................................................................................7
5.5
Bluetooth ................................................................................................................................7
5.6
WLAN according to IEEE 802.11a .........................................................................................1
5.7
WLAN according to IEEE 802.11h .........................................................................................1
5.8
WLAN according to IEEE 802.11n .........................................................................................1
5.9
WLAN according to IEEE 802.11ac .......................................................................................2
5.10 WLAN according to IEEE 802.11ad .......................................................................................2
5.11 WLAN according to IEEE 802.11ah .......................................................................................2
5.12 LTE.........................................................................................................................................3
6
Standards, frequencies and transmit powers for WLANs in Switzerland ............................... 3
6.1
ERC/DEC(04)08 at a glance ..................................................................................................5
7
WLAN air interfaces ............................................................................................................ 6
8
WLAN registration obligation .............................................................................................. 9
9
Annex ................................................................................................................................ 10
9.1
Other sources of information..................................................................................................10
9.2
Abbreviations .........................................................................................................................10
9.3
Derivation of bit rates (gross) of some OFDM systems .........................................................13
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1 Introduction
The WLAN factsheet provides an introduction and an overview of wireless networks for the interested public.
2 What is meant by a WLAN
Nowadays, personal computers (PCs) in offices are generally networked. In most cases this networking is
achieved by means of a cable which connects the PC with the network connection socket in the vicinity of
the PC. Depending on the network and controller used, data transmission rates of 10 Mbit/s, 100 Mbit/s
and up few Gbit/s can be achieved.
For some time, therefore, there has been a desire to liberate users from this cable. The advantages are
obvious: no costly cabling work must be carried out in offices and a PC or laptop can be used anywhere in
the office.
As a result of the possibilities of information technology and constant progress in semiconductor integration,
it has now become possible to realise this desire. Wireless networks at prices affordable for everyone are
now available.
The terms Radio Local Area Network (RLAN) and Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) mean the same
thing.
3 Principle of a WLAN
Laserdrucker = Laser printer
Figure 1:
WLAN network
By means of WLANs, connections can be established between the Mobile Terminal and the Access Point
(a). This makes the Mobile Terminal part of the Ethernet, and allows it to access all connected devices,
such as printers, servers, internet access, etc.
If no infrastructure exists, direct connections for data exchange (b) can be set up between multiple Mobile
Terminals.
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Wireless Local Area Networks
In this context, the range of the wireless link depends of several factors, such as:
•
transmitting power
•
interference (with other users, can be optimised by network design)
•
data transmission rate (type of modulation)
•
the environment (inside or outside the house, line of sight link).
The following conditions apply:
•
the higher the data transmission rate, the shorter the range
•
the more obstacles between the wireless users and the Access Points, the shorter the range
•
the more simultaneously active users, the lower the data transmission rate
This explains why the data transmission rate drops at greater distances, or when there is reciprocal interference.
The data transmission rate, moreover, refers to the maximum data transmission rate in both directions. This
data transmission rate is split between the individual users using this channel. The more users on this
channel, the lower the data transmission rate for each individual user. In addition, overhead and access
losses must be taken into consideration, which lead to a reduced effective data transmission rate.
3.1
Access-Point (AP)
The Access Point is the switching point in the WLAN. The wireless users are connected via the Access
Point to the world of fixed networks, i.e. the Access Point is normally connected to the Ethernet.
In many cases, other functions are integrated in the Access Point, e.g.:

ADSL / cable modem

10/100 MHz LAN link

Router

Print server
Additional software functions may also be provided by the Access Point, such as:
3.2

Firewall

Access control

Password protection

Encryption.
Mobile Terminal (MT)
Users with laptops used to be connected by a PCMCIA card and those with a PC by a separate PCI card
or a PCI holder card, which in turn can take a PCMCIA card. Nowadays WLAN interfaces are integrated
into PCs, notebooks and smartphones.
The subscriber connection communicates across the air interface with the Access Point, from where connections with the wirebound Ethernet are established.
Ad hoc functions generally also provide the possibility of exchanging data directly, without an Access Point.
The Mobile Terminal is actually “only” a portable terminal, since the systems are not designed for mobile
operation. The various standards, however, permit without exception handover from one base station to
the next.
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Roaming platforms between WLAN and GSM, UMTS and LTE are currently under development.
3.3
Services
It is not possible to speak of actual services in the case of wireless LANs. Commercially available systems
are used for wireless connection of PCs to the Ethernet. For the user, these systems are fully transparent,
i.e. it makes no difference whether he or she is connected to the network via a cable or via a wireless link.
All applications and services (file transfer, access to printers, the internet, ...) which are available on the
network are therefore available without limitation (subject to the restricted data transmission rate).
Current offerings are limited to LAN applications and internet access, with all its facilities.
4 Security
4.1
Confidentiality
In the case of WLANs, security is a moot point, since access to the air interface is entirely possible without
on-site access. The range is approx. 100 metres, or approx. 300 metres maximum. However, it has recently
been shown that the encryption can be broken – given appropriate effort. Software tools already exist to
permit hacking into the encryption procedure.
The encryption techniques work on individual or multiple layers of the OSI model, using different methods.
There is a wide range of such methods.
The widely used WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) encryption method, which uses the RC-4 algorithm, has
proved to be insecure. The method uses a constant WEP key and a variable initialisation vector (IV) transmitted on the radio channel in clear text. This vector is only 24 bits long and is generated randomly. Consequently, the same effective key occurs relatively frequently for different packets. Long-term monitoring
and observation make it possible to determine the constant WEP key. Cracking tools exploit precisely this
weakness.
A further development of WEP, known as WEP2, uses a 128-bit initialisation vector and periodic renewal
of the previously constant WEP key. This extension is considered to be not much more secure and has
therefore already been rejected.
WEPplus is a new, more secure but proprietary development. This encryption method is more robust in
that a key generation algorithm is used which avoids weak keys. It is therefore more difficult to crack the
key by monitoring the radio channel. Nonetheless, it is only a matter of time until a corresponding software
tool becomes available. WEPplus is fully backward-compatible with earlier WEP-WLANs.
Fast Packet Keying works on a similar principle and was developed by RC4's inventors, RSA Data Security.
For each data packet, this algorithm generates a 104-bit packet key and a 24-bit initialisation vector. This
avoids the repeated use of a key with the same initialisation vector, one of the principal problems with WEP.
Fast Packet Keying is also designed for compatibility with existing WLAN hardware and can be retrofitted
using driver and firmware upgrades.
One of the most promising solutions currently is IPSec. IPSec is an encrypted TCP/IP protocol and requires
data traffic on the network to use the IP protocol exclusively. In most cases this is not a problem, since
TCP/IP is omnipresent because of the spread of the internet. IPSec is one of the most secure methods of
encryption for WLANs, but requires careful and somewhat complex configuration. Unfortunately, of all the
techniques, IPSec involves the greatest increase in overhead and consequent reduction in data transmission rate.
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At network access level, in addition to the encryption algorithms, the customary security mechanisms such
as logon with user name and password, computer account (identification of a PC by its MAC address) and
domain security features are active. All security systems, whether regarded individually or combined, do
not offer 100% protection.
4.2
Electromagnetic compatibility and the environment
The Ordinance on Protection from Non-ionising Radiation (Verordnung über den Schutz vor nichtionisierender Strahlung – NISV1) is in principle also applicable to wireless networks. Transmission equipment with an
equivalent radiating power (ERP) of less than 6 W is excluded from this regulation. WLANs have an ERP of
less than 6 W and are therefore not affected by the Ordinance on Protection from Non-ionising Radiation.
5 Applied standards
5.1
DECT-based WLAN
One simple solution is the application of the DECT standard to link wireless users.
DECT is a standard which has proved itself over some years; it is very robust and powerful. It additionally
supports handover between base stations, in so far as these are connected by a cable.
The DPRS (DECT Packet Radio Service) protocol permits data rates per time slot of up to 76.8 kbit/s
(gross) with robust modulation and up to 460.8 kbit/s (gross) with high-grade modulation. Up to 11 time
slots per direction of transmission can be combined, resulting in maximum data rates of 844.8 kbit/s (gross)
with simple modulation and up to 5.07 Mbit/s (gross) with high-grade modulation.
5.2
WLAN according to IEEE 802.11
The IEEE established the IEEE 802.11 standard in 1997. It permits a data transmission rate of 1 or 2 Mbit/s
and works in the ISM frequency band of 2.4 GHz. In this frequency range (2400 - 2483.5 MHz) 79 channels,
each with 1 MHz bandwidth, are available.
These channels are each occupied briefly (for a few ms) using the Frequency-Hopping-Spread-Spectrum
System (FHSS); communication then takes place on a different channel. To achieve this, the transmitter
and receiver must occupy the channels synchronously according to a pre- set table.
The same standard also describes a method with a spread of signal bandwidth by a factor of 11. This socalled Direct-Sequence-Spread-Spectrum (DSSS) method distributes the energy used for the transmission
of information over 22 MHz. Multiple connections can then take place simultaneously on the same channel.
For this type of technique, there are 13 carrier frequencies channels with a 5 MHz channel arrangement
available in the 2400 - 2483.5 MHz frequency range.
1
http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/c814_710.html
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Wireless Local Area Networks
In order to ensure trouble-free operation of different WLANs on the same site, e.g. only channels 1, 7 and
13 should be occupied; otherwise the channels overlap.
5.3
WLAN according to IEEE 802.11b
In 1999 the data transmission rate was increased to 5.5 or 11 Mbit/sec by modifying the type of modulation.
These WLANS also work only in the 2.4 GHz band. The increase in data transmission rate is achieved by
the use of CCK spread codes (Complementary Code Keying), a class of sophisticated spread codes. It is
accompanied by a reduction in range. The data transmission rates defined in the IEEE 802.11 standard are
also supported.
The IEEE 802.11b standard works at the higher data transmission rates exclusively with DSSS.
5.4
WLAN according to IEEE 802.11g
An extension of the 802.11b standard was produced under this designation. With this standard, a maximum
of 54 Mbit/s in the 2.4 GHz ISM band is achieved.
The higher data rates are achieved by extending the air interface (PHY) by two modulations/coding types.
The extension bears the name Extended-Rate-PHY (ERP). The following are the new modulations/coding
types:

ERP-PBCC: the user data are coded with the aid of a convolution coder with 256 states and then
modulated using 8PSK. In addition, the preamble and header are abbreviated in time, producing
gross bit rates of 22 and 33 Mbit/s in this mode.

DSSS-OFDM: this type of modulation is a hybrid of DSSS and OFDM. A shortened preamble and
header are modulated and spread as in standard IEEE802.11b BPSK. The user data are modulated by OFDM on 48 sub-carriers. Depending on the data rate, the sub-carriers BPSK, QPSK,
16QAM or 64QAM are modulated. Varying the sub- carrier modulation type and the code rate (1/2,
2/3 or 3/4) produces gross bitrates of 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48 or 54 Mbit/s. (See also Section 9.3)
The IEEE 802.11g standard is compatible with equipment to IEEE802.11 and IEEE 802.11b. In addition,
the OFDM parameters are adapted to those of RLAN systems in the 5 GHz band; this allows the manufacture of WLAN chipsets which support the 2.4 and 5 GHz band.
5.5
Bluetooth
The IEEE 802.15.1 standard is behind the name Bluetooth. Bluetooth is designed for bridging short distances (up to 10 metres at 0 dBm EIRP and up to 100 metres at 20 dBm EIRP) with data transmission rates
up to 1 Mbit/s. There are three power classes of devices, 0, 4 and 20 dBm (1, 2.5 and 100 mW). Bluetooth
devices are expected to be used typically in a Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN). A WPAN embraces all the wirelessly connected devices (mobile telephone, organiser, laptop, printer, camera, multimedia projector, etc...) in close proximity to a person. The goal is to simplify the connection of the abovementioned devices.
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Bluetooth connections are powerful and robust point-to-point links, with the possibility of operating
several connections simultaneously. One possibility is even multi-hop connections, which extend the
local spread of a PAN, using intermediate devices as repeaters.
Unlike WLAN, which allows roaming access to the intranet or the internet, Bluetooth is designed as
a universal wireless adapter (e.g. serial interface). The wirebound counterpart would be the USB
interface. The first products are wireless headsets for mobile phones, plus printer and video camera
connections to PCs and laptops.
Bluetooth is especially optimised for low energy consumption. Since Bluetooth, like IEEE802.11 /
IEEE802.11b, works in the 2.4 GHz ISM band, the systems may cause reciprocal interference. Capacity reduces as traffic increases. This is a disadvantage which must be taken into consideration in
bands which are not subject to licensing.
5.6
WLAN according to IEEE 802.11a
WLANs according to IEEE 802.11a work in the 5 GHz band. They offer data transmission rates of 6
Mbit/s to 24 Mbit/s and optionally up to 54 Mbit/s. The channel arrangement is 20 MHz. The standard
provides for two frequency bands in the 5 GHz band with different transmitting powers (see also Section 6).
To enable WLAN Access Points in Europe to use the entire 5 GHz band, they must detect the signals
of other radio systems in this frequency band and work around these by means of a frequency
change. To this end, functions for dynamic frequency selection (DFS) and transmit power control
(TPC) must be implemented in the WLAN access point. The transmit power can also be halved as an
alternative to TPC.
Unfortunately, WLANs according to IEEE 802.11a lack these two features. However, the use of systems to IEEE 802.11a is possible in Europe with certain restrictions. More detailed information is available from OFCOM2.
In the case of WLANs according to the IEEE 802.11h standard (see the following Section), this deficiency has finally been rectified.
5.7
WLAN according to IEEE 802.11h
The standard corresponds as closely as possible to IEEE 802.11a (see Section 5.6) and operates in
the 5 GHz band. The DFS and TPC functions are implemented here. The standard may therefore be
used in Europe.
5.8
WLAN according to IEEE 802.11n
This standard is used both in the 2.4 GHz band and in the 5 GHz band. Most inexpensive devices,
however, are intended to support only the 2.4 GHz- band. The DFS and TPC functions are implemented in the 5 GHz band and there is therefore no obstacle to the use of this standard in Europe.
The standard covers WLANs with a gross bit rate of up to 600 Mbit/s, which is achieved by the use of
4 x 4 MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) 64-QAM modulation and a bandwidth of 40 MHz (see also
Section 9.3 in the Annex). Given a good radio link, in net terms in practice only about half of this will
be achieved.
As the name suggests, in the case of MIMO multiple antennas are used both at the access point and
at the mobile terminal. In the case of a 4 x 4 MIMO this involves 4 antennas at the transmitter and 4
antennas at the receiver. Using individual antennas, different data streams can be transferred on the
same frequency and for the same link. On the reception side, the signals can be decoded again with
the aid of complex algorithms. When the number of antennas is doubled on both sides of a radio link,
2
https://www.bakom.admin.ch/bakom/de/home/geraete-anlagen/marktzugang-fernmeldeanlagen/marktzugang-fernmeldeanla-
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Wireless Local Area Networks
the data rate can therefore theoretically be doubled, without additional frequency resources and without additional transmitting power.
As a result of the use of MIMO in IEEE 802.11h, there is an additional dimension on top of frequency
and time: the spatial dimension. in this context, one therefore also speaks of spatial multiplexing.
Alternatively, in a MIMO system, instead of increasing the data rate, the signal-to-noise ratio, and
hence the quality of radio communication, can be improved. By sending the same coded transmission
via several antennas, the quality of the signal at the periphery of the cell - for the same total transmitting power of all antennas together - can be substantially improved (diversity gain), but without an increase in the data rate. As a result, the range is increased.
With MIMO there is a third possibility: so-called beamforming. The transmit power is bundled in the direction towards the receiver and vice versa. Consequently, the range is also increased and interference from other users is reduced.
5.9
WLAN according to IEEE 802.11ac
IEEE 802.11ac is a further development of IEEE 802.11n. MIMO techniques up to 8 x 8 are possible
with this standard and modulation has been extended to 256-QAM. The maximum bandwidth is
160 MHz.
This standard can also work both in the 2.4 GHz band and in the 5 GHz band. Gross bit rates of up to
6933 Mbit/s are theoretically possible (see Annex 9.3). This is achieved by the use by 8 x 8 MIMO,
256-QAM modulation and in a bandwidth of 160 MHz. Given a good radio link, probably only a fraction
of this could actually be used in practice.
WLANs conforming to IEEE 802.11ac unfortunately usually lack the DFS and TPC functions which are
prescribed throughout Europe (see Section 5.6). These systems in Europe are therefore operated in
the 5 GHz band only on certain channels. More detailed information is available from OFCOM3.
5.10 WLAN according to IEEE 802.11ad
IEEE 802.11ad is known as Wireless Gigabit - WiGig for short - and enables fast point-to-point connections. WLANs according to IEEE 802.11ad are operated in the frequency range around 60 GHz.
Because of the high transmit frequency, the signals on the radio interface are greatly attenuated.
Therefore, and because of the relatively low transmitting power, the range with this standard is only
approximately 10 m. Additionally, there must be visual contact between transmitter and receiver. At
greater distances, the connection switches automatically to a standard with a reduced data rate in the
2.4 or 5 GHz range.
On one of the four radio channels approximately 2 GHz wide, depending on the distance, gross data
rates from 385 to 4620 Mbit/s (single carrier mode) or from 693 to 6757 Mbit/s (OFDM) are possible.
Efficient beamforming is supported by the standard. The high frequencies used in this case are highly
appropriate, as many antennas can be used over a small area. Consequently the transmit power can
be specifically matched to the corresponding receiver and interference in neighbouring systems is
minimised (see also Section 0).
5.11 WLAN according to IEEE 802.11ah
The IEEE 802.11ah standard is designed for IoT (Internet of Things) applications and is therefore designed for low power consumption, a relatively long range and low bandwidth (low data transfer rates).
With this new standard, it would be possible to network devices which are, for example, battery-pow-
3
https://www.bakom.admin.ch/bakom/de/home/geraete-anlagen/marktzugang-fernmeldeanlagen/marktzugang-fernmeldeanla-
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ered, which do not continuously send data and which do not need a high transmission rate. This technology is therefore in competition with technologies like Bluetooth or Zigbee. The WiFi Alliance has
adopted the IEEE 802.11ah standard and named it “HaLow”.
In Europe HaLow works in the 863 - 870 MHz frequency range. The standard envisages transmission
bandwidths of 1 and 2 MHz. As an option, 4, 8 and 16 MHz can also be used; as a result of available
bandwidths in the public-domain bands, the 8 und 16 MHz bandwidths can be used only in the USA
and in China. On the uplink and downlink, the data rate is 150 kbit/s to 346.6 Mbit/s. Outside buildings,
ranges of up to 1 km are possible.
5.12 LTE
The LTE mobile radio standard has been appreciably extended over a number of years, so devices to
this standard can also be used, in addition to mobile data communication in licensed bands, for data
communication over short distances in public-domain bands. An LTE mobile radio device can therefore, if necessary, switch automatically to WLAN transmission or connect to WLAN transmission, without adversely affecting instantaneous data transmission. With this evolution of the LTE standard within
the 3GPP committee, LTE has been and is being enhanced with the following capabilities:

LTE license assisted access (LTE-LAA): this technology takes advantage of the feature of
LTE which permits distributing data communication simultaneously over different frequency
bands. Thus data traffic is always transferred via a primary and a secondary radio cell. The
primary radio cell works in the licensed frequency range, whilst the secondary cell uses the
public-domain 5 GHz frequency range with a maximum transmission bandwidth of 20 MHz. A
distinction is made between "supplemental downlink" mode, where only the capacity of the
downlink is increased and "carrier aggregation", where the capacity of the uplink and downlink
is increased by using the 5 GHz spectrum. The parameters of the air interface for the primary
and secondary radio cell are identical in principle, apart from the transmit power. Additional
capabilities are required only for the air interface of the secondary radio cell, to ensure compatibility with the existing systems in the 5 GHz band. Thus the secondary cell transmitter, as
with all other WLANs, may send radio signals only if it is guaranteed that the radio link is not
already occupied by another system.

LTE WLAN aggregation (LTE-LWA) is a specification which, like LTE-LAA, uses frequencies
from the unlicensed 5 GHz band for data transmission, in addition to the frequencies in licensed bands. In this case the mobile radio equipment uses 5 GHz WLAN access point signals. In the future, with the completion of 3GPP rel 14, LTE devices are to be specified so that
signals from the 60-GHz band can be used in addition to signals in the 5 GHz band. As in the
case of LTE-LAA, for LTE-LWA, at the same time as a connection via the secondary cell a
connection is also required via a primary radio cell, i.e. in a licensed frequency band.
In addition to the efforts in 3GPP concerning LTE extensions for operation in unlicensed bands, companies in other consortia are driving developments for LTE-based systems in unlicensed bands. MultiFire is a corresponding standard for LTE-based systems which works in unlicensed frequency bands
without requiring a connection via a primary LTE radio cell in a licensed band.
6 Standards, frequencies and transmit powers for WLANs in Switzerland
In Switzerland only wireless networks which meet the following standards may be operated:

DECT

In the 24 GHz band all equipment which meets the EN 300 328-2 standard, including IEEE
802.11, IEEE 802.11b and IEEE 802.11g
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Wireless Local Area Networks

In the 5 GHz band all equipment which meets the EN 301 893 standard and which falls within
the framework of ERC/DEC(04)084 (see Decides 1. - 6.). This includes IEEE 802.11h and
IEEE 802.11n, and with specific measures also IEEE 802.11a and IEEE 802.11ac.

Bluetooth
The public-domain frequency ranges released for WLAN systems are in the 800 MHz, 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz
and 60 GHz frequency band. There is no protection from interference in these bands. The following
frequency ranges and transmit powers are available in Switzerland for WLAN systems:
Frequency band
2,4 GHz band (ISM band)
5 GHz band
Frequency range
max. EIRP [mW]
2400 – 2483.5 MHz
100
a)
200
5150 - 5350 MHz
5 GHz band
5470 - 5725 MHz
1’000
60 GHz band
57 - 66 GHz
20/MHz, max 10,000
863 - 868 MHz
25
800-MHz band
a) WLANs to standard EN 301 893 and restricted to indoor use.
The technical interface requirements define one of the conditions for the market access of radio equipment. They describe the frequency characteristics and the radio parameters, as well as the permissible measuring procedures. For WLANs the RIR1010 technical interface requirements5 are legally binding.
Directional antennas for WLANs are available on the market or in some cases are independently manufactured. Such antennas can serve to reduce reciprocal interference of different systems or adjoining
cells, increasing the range or data throughput. The operation of equipment with such an antenna is,
however, permissible only if the maximum transmitting power EIRP does not exceed that indicated in
the above table. The user of the equipment is responsible for compliance with the regulations in force
(EIRP, indoors for 5 GHz, etc.). In practice this means that the transmit power must be reduced if a
directional antenna is used.
4
http://www.erodocdb.dk/doks/doccategoryECC.aspx?doccatid=1
5
https://www.ofcomnet.ch/api/rir/1010
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6.1
ERC/DEC(04)08 at a glance
The following table contains the requirements for WLAN equipment covered by European decision
ERC/DEC (04) 08.
Frequency range
5150 – 5250 MHz
5250 – 5350 MHz
5470 – 5725 MHz
Indoor or Outdoor use
Indoor only
Indoor only
Indoor and Outdoor
Max. mean e.i.r.p
200 mW
200 mW
1000 mW
Max. mean e.i.r.p. density
10 mW in any 1 MHz
10 mW in any 1MHz
50 mW in any 1 MHz
Required standard compliance
EN 301 893
EN 301 893
EN 301 893
TPC or 3 dB power reduction required
no
yes
yes
DFS complying with ITUR M.1652 Annex 1
no
yes
yes
Uniform random channel
selection
yes
yes
yes
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7 WLAN air interfaces
The following table gives an overview of the air interfaces of WLAN systems.
Standard
Frequencyrange
(GHz)
Number of
channels
Bandwidth
(MHz)
PHY Datarate
(/s)
Modulation
Spreading
no spreading
FHSS
DECT
1.88 - 1.90
10
0.864 (3dB)
0.8448 (GFSK)
⁞
5.07 (64-QAM)
GFSK
(B⋅T=0.5)
π/2-DBPSK
π/4-DQPSK
⁞
16-QAM
64-QAM
Bluetooth
2.4 - 2.4835
79
1
1
GFSK
1
1
2-level-GFSK
1
2
4-level-GFSK
22
1
DBPSK
22
2
DQPSK
22
1
DBPSK
22
2
DQPSK
22
5.5, 11
DBPSK / CCK /
PBCC
22
1
DBPSK
22
2
DQPSK
22
5.5, 11
DQPSK / CCK /
PBCC
22
22, 33
8-PSK / ERPBCC
22
6, 9
BPSK
22
12, 18
QPSK
79
IEEE 802.11
2.4 - 2.4835
13
13
IEEE 802.11g
300
1 / 2.5 / 100
2 - 100
CSMA/CA
100
20 - 100
CSMA/CA
100
TDD/FH
40 - 100
DSSS
CSMA/CA
100
CSMA/CA
100
DSSS
2.4 - 2.4835
3 / 7d)
250
TDMA/FDM
DSSS
DSSS
2.4 - 2.4835
Range
(m)
FHSS
13
IEEE 802.11b
max. Transmit
power
(mW EiRP)
Channel
access
40 - 140
DSSS / OFDM
6/13
Wireless Local Area Networks
Standard
Frequencyrange
(GHz)
a)
IEEE 802.11a
Number of
channels
5.15 - 5.25
5.25 - 5.35 a) c)
4 a)
5.47 - 5.725 c)
15 c)
5.15 - 5.35 a)
2.4 - 2.4835
5.15 - 5.35 a)
5.47 - 5.725
2.4 - 2.4835
5.15 - 5.25 a)
5.25 - 5.35 a) c)
5.47 - 5.725 c)
IEEE
802.11ad
(Wigig)
Modulation
22
24, 36
16-QAM
22
48, 54
64-QAM
20
same as
IEEE 802.11h
same as
IEEE 802.11h
6, 9b)
BPSK
20
5.47 - 5.725
IEEE 802.11ac
(Gigabit
WLAN)
PHY Datarate
(/s)
8 a)
IEEE 802.11h
IEEE 802.11n
Bandwidth
(MHz)
11
2 x 80 MHz
1 x 160 MHz
2 x 80 MHz
1 x 160 MHz)
QPSK
24,
36b)
16-QAM
48b), 54b)
64-QAM b)
6, 9b)
BPSK
12, 18b)
QPSK
24,
8 x 20 MHz
4 x 40 MHz
19 x 20 MHz)
9 x 40 MHz)
12,
18b)
20
40
20
40
80
160
36b)
4
Channel
access
OFDM
64 subcarriers
(Δf = 312.5 kHz)
CSMA/CA /
TDMA/TDD
OFDM
64 subcarrier
(Δf = 312.5 kHz)
Range
(m)
40 - 120
1000
40 - 120
1000
150 (1 stream)
300 (2 streams)
450 (3 streams)
600 (4 streams)
BPSK
QPSK
⁞
64-QAM
4 x 4 MIMO
OFDM
128 subcarrier
(Δf = 312.5 kHz)
867 (1 stream)
1’733 (2 streams)
2’600 (3 streams)
3’467 (4 streams)
6’933 (8 streams)
BPSK
QPSK
⁞
256-QAM
8 x 8 MIMO
OFDM
512 subcarrier
(Δf = 312.5 kHz)
693 - 6’757 (OFDM)
Indoors 200
CSMA/CA /
TDMA/TDD
16-QAM
64-QAM b)
1’830.5
max. Transmit
power
(mW EiRP)
Indoors 200
48b), 54b)
385 - 4’620 (SC)
57 - 66
Spreading
100
CSMA/CA /
TDMA/TDD
Indoors 200
70 - 250
1000
100
CSMA/CA /
TDMA/TDD
Indoors 200
40 - 120
1000
SC:
π/4-BPSK
π/4-QPSK
π/4-16-QAM
Spread QPSK
OFDM:
QPSK
SC:
1’760 Msym/s
OFDM:
355 act. subcarrier
(Δf = 5.15625
MHz)
TDMA/LBT
1000
10
7/13
Wireless Local Area Networks
Standard
Frequencyrange
(GHz)
Number of
channels
Bandwidth
(MHz)
PHY Datarate
(/s)
Modulation
Spreading
Channel
access
max. Transmit
power
(mW EiRP)
Range
(m)
OFDM
64 subcarrier
(Δf = 31.25 kHz)
CSMA/CA/
TDMA/TD
25 e.r.p.
<1000
TDD / LBT
200
40-120
16-QAM
64-QAM
IEEE
802.11ah
(HaLow)
LTE-LAA
863 - 868 MHz
5 (1 MHz)
2 (2 MHz)
1
2
up to 8’670
5.15 - 5.35
5.47 - 5.725
10 x 20 MHz
12 x 20 MHz
20
20
max. 100.8
BPSK
QPSK
⁞
256-QAM
QPSK
16 QAM
64 QAM
OFDM
(Δf=15kHz)
a)
Indoors only permitted
b)
c)
Optional
not permitted throughout Europe because of absence of TPC and DFS mitigation techniques (acc. to ERC/DEC(04)08, Decides 1.- 6. and EN 301 893)
d)
overlapping
8/13
Wireless Local Area Networks
8 WLAN registration obligation
Anyone offering a telecommunications service must register with OFCOM as a telecommunications
service provider (TSP). The obligation to register is based on the offering of a telecommunications service for third parties. It is not any customer relationship which is the determining factor, but a contract
for the provision of telecommunications services between the provider and the customer. The determining factor in this case is the contracting party which provides telecommunications services to the
respective user.
General questions relating to the obligation to register are answered in particular in our guide, which
can be consulted at the following web address:
www.bakom.admin.ch/bakom/de/home/telekommunikation/fernmeldedienstanbieter/meldung-alsfda.html
In relation to WLAN hotspots it is to be noted that the predominant proportion of such internet accesses does not constitute a telecommunications service under the telecommunications legislation,
since these are limited to transmission to one or an adjacent property. The actual internet access telecommunications service is provided in this case by a registered TSP from the property and the associated network access point. This corresponds by analogy to the rating for telephone equipment of restaurants or businesses in the past.
As soon as a company provides communication services to third parties across multiple properties
which do not serve internal company communication, a telecommunications service must be assumed.
It must be noted that the mere cession or granting of an access to a service of a registered TSP does
not constitute an active offering; it would have to constitute an independent service to a customer in
order to constitute the basis for registration. This is, for example, accepted, if restaurants conflate the
communication services included in the offering for guest within the group (e.g. a hotel chain) via their
own (virtual) infrastructures brought together and only transfer centrally to a TSP at a remote location.
The question of compulsory registration is often posed by users of a public WLAN hotspot.
The telecommunications legislation prescribes a registration obligation for telecommunications services; OFCOM does not prescribe a notification or registration obligation for users of means of communication.
The telecommunications service providers registered with OFCOM are usually contacted by agencies
of the Federal Department of Justice and Police to ensure monitoring of postal and telecommunications services. OFCOM cannot provide any information on this; you are therefore requested to contact
the competent authorities. You can find more information on this at: www.li.admin.ch.
9/13
Wireless Local Area Networks
9 Annex
9.1
Other sources of information
IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee
http://www.ieee802.org
ETSI, EP BRAN
http://www.etsi.org,
http://pda.etsi.org/pda/queryform.as
OFCOM
http://www.bakom.ch
Elektronik Kompendium
http://www.elektronik-kompendium.de/sites/net/0610051.htm
9.2
Abbreviations
3GPP
3rd Generation Partnership Project
ADSL
Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line
AP
Access-Point
ARQ
Automatic repeat request
ATM
Asynchronous Transfer Mode
BER
Bit Error Rate
BPSK
Binary Phase Shift Keying
CCK
CDMA
Complementary Code Keying
a)
Code Division Multiple Access
CEPT
European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations
CSMA/CA
Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance
CSMA/CD
Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection
dB
Decibel
dBc
Decibel relative to the carrier
dBm
Decibel relative to one milliwatt
DBPSK
Differential Binary Phase Shift Keying
DECT
Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications
DES
Data Encryption Standard
DFS
Dynamic frequency selection
DPRS
DECT Packet Radio Service
DQPSK
Differential Quadrature Phase Shift Keying
DS
Direct Sequence
DSSS
Direct sequence spread spectrum
EIRP
Equivalent Isotropic Radiated Power
ERP
Effective radiated power
ER-PBCC
Extended Packet Binary Convolutional Coding
ETSI
European Telecommunications Standards Institute
FCC
Federal Communications Commission
FDD
FDMA
Frequency division duplex
b)
Frequency Division Multiple Access
FEC
Forward error correction
FH
Frequency hopping
FHSS
Frequency hopping spread spectrum
10/13
Wireless Local Area Networks
FSK
Frequency shift keying (4FSK = 4 level FSK)
FTP
File Transfer Protocol
GFSK
Gaussian Frequency Shift Keying
GMSK
Gaussian Minimum Shift Keying
GSM
Global System for Mobile Communication
HF
High Frequency
IEEE
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
IoT
Internet of Things
IP
Internet Protocol
ISDN
Integrated Services Digital Network
ISM
Industrial, Scientific and Medical
ITU
International Telecommunication Union
LAN
Local area network
LTE
Long Term Evolution (3rd generation mobile radio)
LTE-LAA
LTE-License Assisted Access
LTE-LWA
LTE-WLAN Aggregation
MAC
Media Access Control (OSI Layer 2)
MAN
Metropolitan Area Network
Mbit/s
Megabits (106 bit) per second
MIMO
Multiple Input Multiple Output (multiple antennas)
m-PSK
Phase Shift Keying with m-phase states
OFDM
Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing
OSI
Open Systems Interconnection
PAN
Private Area Network
PBCC
Packet Binary Convolutional Coding
PC
Personal Computer
PHY
Physical air interface (OSI Layer 1)
PSTN
Public Switched Telephone Network
QAM
Quadrature Amplitude Modulation
QoS
Quality of Service
QPSK
Quadrature Phase Shift Keying
RF
Radio Frequency
RLAN
Radio local area network
SC
Single Carrier
SHA
Secure Hash Algorithm
TCP/IP
Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol
TDD
Time Division Duplex
TDMA
c)
Time Division Multiple Access
TPC
Transmit power control
UMTS
Universal Mobile Telecommunications System
USB
Universal Serial Bus
WAN
Wide Area Network
WEP
Wired Equivalent Privacy
WiFi
wireless fidelity
WLAN
Wireless local area network
11/13
Wireless Local Area Networks
WPAN
Wireless Private Area Network
a) Code multiplex (CDMA); in this procedure codes are assigned to the individual users. The signal to
be transmitted is spread and transmitted with this code. In the receiver, the signal is re-assembled
using the same code and the original signal is recovered in this way. The bandwidth of the signal to
be transmitted can be selected by allocation of corresponding codes. In this procedure, central stations and user stations transmit continuously; the transmitted signal is kept just above the absolutely essential minimum.
b) Frequency-division multiple access (FDMA); in this procedure, the individual connections are transmitted on separate frequencies. The range of the individual connections can be adapted dynamically depending on volumes of traffic. In this procedure, the central station and the user station
transmit continuously for the duration of the connection.
C) Time-division multiple access (TDMA); in this procedure time slots are made available to the individual users; they transmit their data during these slots. Multiple time slots can be combined for
higher data rates. In this procedure, the central station normally transmits continuously; the user
station transmits in the cycle of its assigned time slots.
In addition to the above-mentioned access procedures, combinations exist, such as, for example,
CDMA with TDMA.
12/13
1)
1
1
2
2
4
4
6
6
6
8
8
1
2
2
4
4
6
6
6
8
8
1
2
2
4
4
6
6
6
8
8
1
2
2
4
4
6
6
6
8
8
2
⁞
8
1/2
3/4
1/2
3/4
1/2
3/4
2/3
3/4
5/6
3/4
5/6
1/2
1/2
3/4
1/2
3/4
2/3
3/4
5/6
3/4
5/6
1/2
1/2
3/4
1/2
3/4
2/3
3/4
5/6
3/4
5/6
1/2
1/2
3/4
1/2
3/4
2/3
3/4
5/6
3/4
5/6
1/2
⁞
5/6
12
Bits/Symbol
Code rate
Streams
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
8
⁞
8
Modulation
8x8
4x4
3x3
2x2
1 x 1 (non-MIMO)
MIMO
1)
Symbol rate [MSym/s]
12
13.0
14.44
27.0
30.0
13.0
14.44
27.0
30.0
Wireless Local Area Networks
9.3
Derivation
bit rates (gross)
Bitrate ofBitrate
Bitrateof some OFDM
Bittratesystems
0.5
0.75
1
1.5
2
3
4
4.5
5
6
6.67
1
2
3
4
6
8
9
10
12
13.33
1.5
3
4.5
6
9
12
13.5
15
18
20
2
4
6
8
12
16
18
20
24
26.67
8.00
⁞
53.33
[MBit/s]
6
9
12
18
24
36
48
54
[MBit/s]
6
9
12
18
24
36
48
54
[MBit/s]
6.50
9.75
13.00
19.50
26.00
39.00
52.00
58.50
65.00
[MBit/s]
7.22
10.83
14.44
21.67
28.89
43.33
57.78
65.00
72.22
13.5
20.3
27.0
40.5
54.0
81.0
108.0
121.5
135.0
15.0
22.5
30.0
45.0
60.0
90.0
120.0
135.0
150.0
13.00 14.44
26.00 28.89
39.00 43.33
52.00 57.78
78.00 86.67
104.00 115.56
117.00 130.00
130.00 144.44
27.0
54.0
81.0
108.0
162.0
216.0
243.0
270.0
30.0
60.0
90.0
120.0
180.0
240.0
270.0
300.0
19.50
39.00
58.50
78.00
117.00
156.00
175.50
195.00
21.67
43.33
65.00
86.67
130.00
173.33
195.00
216.67
40.5
81.0
121.5
162.0
243.0
324.0
364.5
405.0
45.0
90.0
135.0
180.0
270.0
360.0
405.0
450.0
26.00
52.00
78.00
104.00
156.00
208.00
234.00
260.00
28.89
57.78
86.67
115.56
173.33
231.11
260.00
288.89
54.0
108.0
162.0
216.0
324.0
432.0
486.0
540.0
60.0
120.0
180.0
240.0
360.0
480.0
540.0
600.0
Bitrate
[MBit/s]
6.50
9.75
13.00
19.50
26.00
39.00
52.00
58.50
65.00
78.00
86.67
13.00
26.00
39.00
52.00
78.00
104.00
117.00
130.00
156.00
173.33
19.50
39.00
58.50
78.00
117.00
156.00
175.50
195.00
234.00
260.00
26.00
52.00
78.00
104.00
156.00
208.00
234.00
260.00
312.00
346.67
104.0
⁞
693.3
Bitrate
[MBit/s]
7.22
13.50
15.00
10.83
20.25
22.50
14.44
27.00
30.00
21.67
40.50
45.00
28.89
54.00
60.00
43.33
81.00
90.00
57.78 108.00 120.00
65.00 121.50 135.00
72.22 135.00 150.00
86.67 162.00 180.00
96.30 180.00 200.00
14.44
27.00
30.00
28.89
54.00
60.00
43.33
81.00
90.00
57.78 108.00 120.00
86.67 162.00 180.00
115.56 216.00 240.00
130.00 243.00 270.00
144.44 270.00 300.00
173.33 324.00 360.00
192.59 360.00 400.00
21.67
40.50
45.00
43.33
81.00
90.00
65.00 121.50 135.00
86.67 162.00 180.00
130.00 243.00 270.00
173.33 324.00 360.00
195.00 364.50 405.00
216.67 405.00 450.00
260.00 486.00 540.00
288.89 540.00 600.00
28.89
54.00
60.00
57.78 108.00 120.00
86.67 162.00 180.00
115.56 216.00 240.00
173.33 324.00 360.00
231.11 432.00 480.00
260.00 486.00 540.00
288.89 540.00 600.00
346.67 648.00 720.00
385.19 720.00 800.00
115.56 216.00 240.00
⁞
⁞
⁞
770.37 1'440.0 1'600.0
1: BPSK
2: QPSK
4: 16-QAM
6: 64-QAM
8: 256-QAM
58.5
13/13
Bitr
[MB
29.3
43.9
58.5
87.8
117.0
175.5
234.0
263.3
292.5
351.0
390.0
58.5
117.0
175.5
234.0
351.0
468.0
526.5
585.0
702.0
780.0
87.8
175.5
263.3
351.0
526.5
702.0
789.8
877.5
1'053.0
1'170.0
117.0
234.0
351.0
468.0
702.0
936.0
1'053.0
1'170.0
1'404.0
1'560.0
468.0
⁞
3'120.0