Wireless Fidelity Debunked

How and when did the term Wi-Fi originate?

We’ve all come to know Wi-Fi as a branded term which refers to the standard for wireless connectivity of electronic devices to broadband. But many do not know about the origin of the term. Some believe that Wi-Fi is a shortening of “wireless fidelity” similar to hi-fi which means “high fidelity“.

With a little research, I found this website that clarified the origin of the term:

In 1999, a handful of industry leaders formed a global non-profit organization with the goal of “driving the adoption of a single worldwide-accepted standard for high-speed wireless local area networking.” They called themselves the “Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA).”

Because ‘IEEE 802.11’ is a bit of a mouthful, one of WECA’s first tasks was to develop a more memorable, user-friendly name for the wireless standard. To that end, they hired powerhouse branding company Interbrand to come up with a list of names that could be used in place of IEEE 802.11b. Thirteen names were presented to WECA … and the obvious winner was of course Wi-Fi

So “Wi-Fi” is not an abbreviation, it simply stands on its own as a term used to certify the interoperability of wireless computer networking devices.

(#31WriteNow Day 13)


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