Wireless Frequencies: The CliffsNotes Version

April 28, 2016 at 8:00 AM


Wireless antennas operate at different frequencies to best suit different wireless applications.  In order for the system to work properly, the antenna frequency must match the frequency of the amplifier, access point or router to which it will be attached.

If you’re trying to decipher what each wireless frequency does and/or which one would be best for your wireless application, we’re here to help. We’re taking you back to school and in true CliffsNotes-style we’ll sum it all up in an easy to read package. 




The cast of characters is simple: 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands.


The FCC has allocated these three frequencies for unlicensed Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) applications. Because they don’t require licensing, these frequencies have played a pivotal role in the growth of the wireless industry.

In the US, the 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wireless frequency bands are used for consumer and commercial Wi-Fi and WLAN applications, as well as commercial Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) applications. 


Study Guide


Each frequency band has a different purpose and its own set of characteristics – some good, some bad. Here is a handy chart to give you an overview of each frequency.



Now you should be able to choose the best frequency for your wireless application and you’re sure to pass any pop-quiz on wireless frequencies - you can even print out this chart and tape it inside your Trapper Keeper.


For a detailed look at the frequency allocations of entire radio spectrum, download the United States Frequency Allocations Chart.


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