WLAN Frequency Bands & Channels

WLAN Frequency Bands and channels showing allowed wireless local area network channels using IEEE 802.11 protocols as used in Wi-Fi Networks

The 802.11 working group currently documents use in five distinct frequency ranges: 2.4 GHz, 3.6 GHz, 4.9 GHz, 5 GHz, and 5.9 GHz bands.Each range is divided into a multitude of channels. Countries apply their own regulations to the allowable channels, allowed users and maximum power levels within these frequency ranges.
In some countries, such as the United States, licensed Amateur Radio operators may use some of the channels at much higher power for long distance wireless access.

2.4 GHz (802.11b/g/n)

WLAN Channels for WiFi

Graphical representation of 2.4 GHz band channels overlapping

Most countries

WLAN Frequency Bands for WiFi

Graphical representation of Wireless LAN channels in 2.4 GHz band

USA

CableFree WiFi WLAN Channels

Graphical representation of Wireless LAN channels in 2.4 GHz band

There are 14 channels designated in the 2.4 GHz range spaced 5 MHz apart (with the exception of a 12 MHz spacing before channel 14).

Note that for 802.11g/n it is not possible to guarantee orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) operation thus affecting the number of possible non-overlapping channels depending on radio operation.

Interference concerns

As the protocol requires 16.25 to 22 MHz of channel separation (as shown above), adjacent channels overlap and will interfere with each other. Leaving 3 or 4 channels clear between used channels is recommended to avoid interference.[4] The exact spacing required depends on the protocol and data rate selected as well as the electromagnetic environment where the equipment is used.

When two or more 802.11b transmitters are operated in the same airspace, their signals must be attenuated by -50dBr and/or separated by 22 MHz to prevent interference.[5] This is due to fact that the DSSS algorithm transmits data logarithmically along a 20 MHz bandwidth. The remaining 2 MHz gap is used as a guard band to allow sufficient attenuation along the edge channels.

Note: The 40 MHz bands in the diagram above are labelled with their centre channel numbers, the management interface of many Wi-Fi devices labels these bands with the centre channel of one of the 20 MHz bands they overlap plus an Up or Down notation to specify the other half of the band i.e.: Channel 3 = Channel 1+Upper, or Channel5+Lower and Channel 11 = Channel 9+Upper or Channel 13+Lower.

Countries apply their own regulations to the allowable channels, allowed users and maximum power levels within these frequency ranges. Network operators should consult their local authorities as these regulations may be out of date as they are subject to change at any time. Most of the world will allow the first thirteen channels in the spectrum.

Channel Frequency
(MHz)
North America Japan Most of world
1 2412 Yes Yes Yes
2 2417 Yes Yes Yes
3 2422 Yes Yes Yes
4 2427 Yes Yes Yes
5 2432 Yes Yes Yes
6 2437 Yes Yes Yes
7 2442 Yes Yes Yes
8 2447 Yes Yes Yes
9 2452 Yes Yes Yes
10 2457 Yes Yes Yes
11 2462 Yes Yes Yes
12 2467 NoB Yes Yes
13 2472 NoB Yes Yes
14 2484 No 11b onlyC No

In the USA, 802.11 operation in the channels 12 and 13 is actually allowed under low powered conditions. The 2.4 GHz Part 15 band in the US allows spread-spectrum operation as long as the 50 dB bandwidth of the signal is within the range of 2,400–2,483.5 MHz which wholly encompasses both channels 12 and 13. A Federal Communications Commission (FCC) document clarifies that only channel 14 is forbidden and furthermore low-power transmitters with low-gain antennas may legally operate in channels 12 and 13.[14] However, channels 12 and 13 are not normally used in order to avoid any potential interference in the adjacent restricted frequency band, 2,483.5–2,500 MHz, which is subject to strict emission limits set out in 47 CFR §15.205.

In Canada, 12 channels are available for use, 11 of which at full power and the other (channel 12) is transmit power limited. However, few devices have a method to enable a lower powered channel 12

Channel 14 is valid only for DSSS and CCK modes (Clause 18 a.k.a. 802.11b) in Japan. OFDM (i.e., 802.11g) may not be used. (IEEE 802.11-2007 §19.4.2)

3.6 GHz (802.11y)

Except where noted, all information taken from Annex J of IEEE 802.11y-2008

This range is documented as only being allowed as a licensed band in the United States. Please see IEEE 802.11y for details.

Countries apply their own regulations to the allowable channels, allowed users and maximum power levels within these frequency ranges.

A 40 MHz band is available from 3655–3695 MHz. It may be divided into 8 5 MHz channels, 4 10 MHz channels,or 2 20 MHz channels, as follows:

Channel Frequency
(MHz)
United States
5 MHz 10 MHz 20 MHz
131 3657.5 Yes No No
132 3660.0 No Yes
3662.5 Yes No
133 3665.0 No Yes
No
3667.5 Yes No
134 3670.0 No Yes
3672.5 Yes No
135 3675.0 No
No No
3677.5 Yes
136 3680.0 No Yes
3682.5 Yes No
137 3685.0 No Yes
No
3687.5 Yes No
138 3690.0 No Yes
3692.5 Yes No

4.9 GHz (802.11y) Public Safety WLAN

50 MHz of spectrum from 4940 MHz to 4990 MHz (WLAN channels 20–26) are in use by public safety entities in the United States. Within this spectrum space, there are two non-overlapping channels allocated, both with a width of 20 MHz. The most commonly used channels are 22 and 26.

5 GHz (802.11a/h/j/n/ac)

Countries apply their own regulations to the allowable channels, allowed users and maximum power levels within these frequency ranges. Network operators should consult their local authorities as these regulations may be out of date as they are subject to change at any time.

European standard EN 301 893 covers 5.15–5.725 GHz operation, and v1.8.1 is in force.

In 2007 the FCC (United States) began requiring that devices operating on 5.250–5.350 GHz and 5.470–5.725 GHz must employ dynamic frequency selection (DFS) and transmit power control (TPC) capabilities. This is to avoid interference with weather-radar and military applications. In 2010, the FCC further clarified the use of channels in the 5.470–5.725 GHz band to avoid interference with TDWR weather radar systems. In FCC parlance, these restrictions are now referred to collectively as the “Old Rules”. On June 10, 2015, the FCC approved a newruleset for 5 GHz device operation (called the “New Rules”), which adds 160 and 80 GHz channel identifiers, and re-enables previously prohibited DFS channels, in Publication Number 905462. This FCC publication eliminates the ability for manufacturers to have devices approved or modified under the Old Rules in phases; the New Rules apply in all circumstances as of June 2, 2016.

Germany requires DFS and TPC capabilities on 5.250–5.350 GHz and 5.470–5.725 GHz as well; in addition the frequency range 5.150–5.350 GHz is only allowed for indoor use, leaving only 5.470–5.725 GHz for outdoor and indoor use.

Since this is the German implementation of EU Rule 2005/513/EC, similar regulations must be expected throughout the European Union.

Austria adopted Decision 2005/513/EC directly into national law. The same restrictions as in Germany apply, only 5.470–5.5725 GHz is allowed to be used outdoor and indoor.

South Africa simply copied the European regulations.

Japan no longer allows 34, 38, 42, and 46 channels for connecting J52 supported old APs. Authorization to use these channels expired in May 2012.

In Brazil, the TPC use in 5.150–5.725 GHz band is optional. DFS is required only in 5.470–5.725 GHz band.

As of 2015, some of the Australian channels require DFS to be utilised (a significant change from the 2000 regulations, which allowed lower power operation without DFS). As per AS/NZS 4268 B1 and B2, transmitters designed to operate in any part of 5250–5350 GHz and 5470–5725 GHz bands shall implement DFS in accordance with sections 4.7 and 5.3.8 and Annex D of ETSI EN 301 893 or alternatively in accordance with FCC paragraph 15.407(h)(2). Also as per AS/NZS 4268 B3 and B4, transmitters designed to operate in any part of 5250–5350 GHz and 5470–5725 GHz bands shall implement TPC in accordance with sections 4.4 and 5.3.4 of ETSI EN 301 893 or alternatively in accordance with FCC paragraph 15.407(h)(1).

New Zealand regulation differs from Australian

Singapore requires DFS and TPC capabilities on 5.250–5.350 GHz above 100 mW (e.i.r.p.) and below or equal to 200 mW (e.i.r.p.), and requires DFS capability on 5.250–5.350 GHz below or equal to 100 mW (e.i.r.p.). In addition, 5.150–5.350 GHz is only allowed for indoor use.

Channel Center
Frequency
(GHz)
Frequency
Range
(GHz)
Bandwidth
(MHz)
Unites States
FCC
U-NII Band(s)
United States Canada Europe Switzerland Russia Japan Japan
10 MHz
Singapore China Palestine Korea Turkey Australia South Africa Brazil Taiwan New Zealand
7 5035 Unknown Unknown N/A No No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No
8 5040 Unknown Unknown N/A No No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No
9 5045 Unknown Unknown N/A No No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No
11 5055 Unknown Unknown N/A No No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No
12 5060 Unknown Unknown N/A No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
16 5080 Unknown Unknown N/A No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
34 5170 Unknown Unknown N/A No No No Indoors Yes Client only No Yes No Indoors Yes Indoors Indoors Indoors Indoors No Indoors
36 5180 5170-5190 20 U-NII-1 Yes Indoors Yes Indoors Yes Indoors N/A Yes Yes Indoors Yes Indoors Indoors Indoors Indoors No Indoors
38 5190 5170-5210 40 U-NII-1 Yes Indoors Yes Indoors Yes Client only N/A Yes Yes Indoors Yes Indoors Indoors Indoors Indoors No Indoors
40 5200 5190-5210 20 U-NII-1 Yes Indoors Yes Indoors Yes Indoors N/A Yes Yes Indoors Yes Indoors Indoors Indoors Indoors No Indoors
42 5210 5170-5250 80 U-NII-1 Yes Indoors No No Yes Client only N/A Indoors/DFS/TPC No No No Indoors DFS/TPC No No No No
44 5220 5210-5230 20 U-NII-1 Yes Indoors Yes Indoors Yes Indoors N/A Yes Yes Indoors Yes Indoors Indoors Indoors Indoors No Indoors
46 5230 5210-5250 40 U-NII-1 Yes Indoors Yes Indoors Yes Client only N/A Yes Yes Indoors Yes Indoors Indoors Indoors Indoors No Indoors
48 5240 5230-5250 20 U-NII-1 Yes Indoors Yes Indoors Yes Indoors N/A Yes Yes Indoors Yes Indoors Indoors Indoors Indoors No Indoors
50 5250 5170-5330 160 U-NII-1 and U-NII-2A DFS DFS No No Yes No N/A No No No No No No No No No No
52 5260 5250-5270 20 U-NII-2A DFS DFS Indoors/DFS/TPC Indoors/DFS/TPC
(otherwise limited to 100mW instead of 200mW)
Yes Indoors/DFS/TPC N/A Indoors/DFS/TPC DFS/TPC Indoors/DFS/TPC
(otherwise limited to 100mW instead of 200mW)
Yes Indoors DFS/TPC Indoors Indoors No DFS/TPC
54 5270 5250-5290 40 U-NII-2A DFS DFS Indoors/DFS/TPC Unknown Yes Indoors/DFS/TPC N/A Indoors/DFS/TPC DFS/TPC Indoors No Indoors DFS/TPC Indoors Indoors DFS/TPC DFS/TPC
56 5280 5270-5290 20 U-NII-2A DFS DFS Indoors/DFS/TPC Indoors/DFS/TPC
(otherwise limited to 100mW instead of 200mW)
Yes Indoors/DFS/TPC N/A Indoors/DFS/TPC DFS/TPC Indoors/DFS/TPC
(otherwise limited to 100mW instead of 200mW)
Yes Indoors DFS/TPC Indoors Indoors Yes DFS/TPC
58 5290 5250-5330 80 U-NII-2A DFS DFS No No Yes No N/A Indoors/DFS/TPC No No No Indoors DFS/TPC No No Yes No
60 5300 5290-5310 20 U-NII-2A DFS DFS Indoors/DFS/TPC Indoors/DFS/TPC
(otherwise limited to 100mW instead of 200mW)
Yes Indoors/DFS/TPC N/A Indoors/DFS/TPC DFS/TPC Indoors/DFS/TPC
(otherwise limited to 100mW instead of 200mW)
Yes Indoors DFS/TPC Indoors Indoors Yes DFS/TPC
62 5310 5290-5330 40 U-NII-2A DFS DFS Indoors/DFS/TPC Unknown Yes Indoors/DFS/TPC N/A Indoors/DFS/TPC DFS/TPC Indoors No Indoors DFS/TPC Indoors Indoors DFS/TPC DFS/TPC
64 5320 5310-5330 20 U-NII-2A DFS DFS Indoors/DFS/TPC Indoors/DFS/TPC
(otherwise limited to 100mW instead of 200mW)
Yes Indoors/DFS/TPC N/A Indoors/DFS/TPC DFS/TPC Indoors/DFS/TPC
(otherwise limited to 100mW instead of 200mW)
Yes Indoors DFS/TPC Indoors Indoors Yes DFS/TPC
100 5500 5490-5510 20 U-NII-2C DFS DFS DFS/TPC DFS/TPC (otherwise limited to 500mW instead of 1W) Yes DFS/TPC N/A DFS/TPC No No Yes DFS/TPC DFS/TPC Yes DFS Yes DFS/TPC
102 5510 5490-5530 40 U-NII-2C DFS DFS DFS/TPC Unknown Yes DFS/TPC N/A DFS/TPC No No No DFS/TPC DFS/TPC Yes DFS Yes DFS/TPC
104 5520 5510-5530 20 U-NII-2C DFS DFS DFS/TPC DFS/TPC
(otherwise limited to 500mW instead of 1W)
Yes DFS/TPC N/A DFS/TPC No No Yes DFS/TPC DFS/TPC Yes DFS Yes DFS/TPC
106 5530 5490-5570 80 U-NII-2C DFS DFS No No Yes No N/A DFS/TPC No No No No DFS/TPC No No No No
108 5540 5530-5550 20 U-NII-2C DFS DFS DFS/TPC DFS/TPC
(otherwise limited to 500mW instead of 1W)
Yes DFS/TPC N/A DFS/TPC No No Yes DFS/TPC DFS/TPC Yes DFS Yes DFS/TPC
110 5550 5530-5570 40 U-NII-2C DFS DFS DFS/TPC Unknown Yes DFS/TPC N/A DFS/TPC No No No DFS/TPC DFS/TPC Yes DFS Yes DFS/TPC
112 5560 5550-5570 20 U-NII-2C DFS DFS DFS/TPC DFS/TPC
(otherwise limited to 500mW instead of 1W)
Yes DFS/TPC N/A DFS/TPC No No Yes DFS/TPC DFS/TPC Yes DFS Yes DFS/TPC
114 5570 5490-5650 160 U-NII-2C DFS DFS No No Yes No N/A No No No No No No No No No No
116 5580 5570-5590 20 U-NII-2C DFS DFS DFS/TPC DFS/TPC
(otherwise limited to 500mW instead of 1W)
Yes DFS/TPC N/A DFS/TPC No No Yes DFS/TPC DFS/TPC Yes DFS Yes DFS/TPC
118 5590 5570-5610 40 U-NII-2C DFS No DFS/TPC Unknown Yes DFS/TPC N/A No No No No DFS/TPC No Yes DFS Yes DFS/TPC
120 5600 5990-5610 20 U-NII-2C DFS No DFS/TPC DFS/TPC
(otherwise limited to 500mW instead of 1W)
Yes DFS/TPC N/A DFS/TPC No No Yes DFS/TPC No Yes DFS Yes DFS/TPC
122 5610 5570-5650 80 U-NII-2C DFS No No No Yes No N/A No No No No No DFS/TPC No No No No
124 5620 5610-5630 20 U-NII-2C DFS No DFS/TPC DFS/TPC
(otherwise limited to 500mW instead of 1W)
Yes DFS/TPC N/A DFS/TPC No No Yes DFS/TPC No Yes DFS Yes DFS/TPC
126 5630 5610-5650 40 U-NII-2C DFS No DFS/TPC Unknown Yes DFS/TPC N/A No No No No DFS/TPC No Yes DFS Yes DFS/TPC
128 5640 5630-5650 20 U-NII-2C DFS No DFS/TPC DFS/TPC
(otherwise limited to 500mW instead of 1W)
Yes DFS/TPC N/A DFS/TPC No No Yes DFS/TPC No Yes DFS Yes DFS/TPC
132 5660 5650-5670 20 U-NII-2C DFS DFS DFS/TPC DFS/TPC
(otherwise limited to 500mW instead of 1W)
Yes DFS/TPC N/A DFS/TPC No No No DFS/TPC DFS/TPC Yes DFS Yes DFS/TPC
134 5670 5650-5690 40 U-NII-2C DFS DFS DFS/TPC Unknown Yes DFS/TPC N/A DFS/TPC No No No DFS/TPC DFS/TPC Yes DFS Yes DFS/TPC
136 5680 5670-5690 20 U-NII-2C DFS DFS DFS/TPC DFS/TPC
(otherwise limited to 500mW instead of 1W)
Yes DFS/TPC N/A DFS/TPC No No No DFS/TPC DFS/TPC Yes DFS Yes DFS/TPC
138 5690 5650-5730 80 U-NII-2C and U-NII-3 DFS DFS No No Yes No N/A DFS/TPC No No No No DFS/TPC No No No No
140 5700 5690-5710 20 U-NII-2C DFS DFS DFS/TPC DFS/TPC
(otherwise limited to 500mW instead of 1W)
Yes DFS/TPC N/A DFS/TPC No No No DFS/TPC DFS/TPC Yes DFS Yes DFS/TPC
142 5710 5690-5730 40 U-NII-2C and U-NII-3 DFS DFS No No Yes No N/A DFS/TPC No No No No DFS/TPC No No No DFS/TPC
144 5720 5710-5730 20 U-NII-2C and U-NII-3 DFS DFS No No Yes No N/A DFS/TPC No No No No DFS/TPC No No No DFS/TPC
149 5745 5735-5755 20 U-NII-3 Yes Yes in study, SRD (25 mW) No Yes No N/A Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
151 5755 5735-5775 40 U-NII-3 Yes Yes in study, SRD (25 mW) No Yes No N/A Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
153 5765 5755-5775 20 U-NII-3 Yes Yes in study, SRD (25 mW)[ No Yes No N/A Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
155 5775 5735-5815 80 U-NII-3 Yes Yes No No Yes No N/A Yes No No No No Yes No No No No
157 5785 5775-5795 20 U-NII-3 Yes Yes in study, SRD (25 mW) No Yes No N/A Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
159 5795 5775-5815 40 U-NII-3 Yes Yes in study, SRD (25 mW) No Yes No N/A Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
161 5805 5795-5815 20 U-NII-3 Yes Yes in study, SRD (25 mW) No Yes No N/A Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
165 5825 5815-5835 20 U-NII-3 Yes Yes in study, SRD (25 mW) No Yes No N/A Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
183 4915 Unknown Unknown N/A No No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No
184 4920 Unknown Unknown N/A No No No No No Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No
185 4925 Unknown Unknown N/A No No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No
187 4935 Unknown Unknown N/A No No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No
188 4940 Unknown Unknown N/A No No No No No Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No
189 4945 Unknown Unknown N/A No No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No
192 4960 Unknown Unknown N/A No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No
196 4980 Unknown Unknown N/A No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No

In Japan, authorization to use channels 34, 38, 42 and 46 expired in May 2012, seven years after channels 36, 40, 44 and 48 were initially allowed. ARIB STD T-71v5_2 clause 5.3.8.3.3 lists permitted channels.

China MIIT expanded allowed channels as of Dec 31 2012 to add UNII-1, 5150 ~ 5250 GHz, UNII-2, 5250 ~ 5350 GHz (DFS/TPC), similar to European standards EN 301.893 V1.7.1.

5.9 GHz (802.11p)

The 802.11p amendment, also known as Wireless Access in Vehicular Environments (WAVE), published on July 15, 2010, specifies WLAN in the licensed Intelligent Transportation Systems(ITS) band of 5.9 GHz (5.850-5.925 GHz). The 802.11p standard is intended for use in vehicular communication systems.

60 GHz (802.11ad)

The 802.11ad, also known as WiGig. This operates in 60 GHz ISM band.

900 MHz (802.11ah)

802.11ah operates in sub-gigahertz unlicensed bands.

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