What is wireless fidelity? - Definition from WhatIs.com

Definition

wireless fidelity

Part of the Wireless and mobile glossary:

Wireless fidelity is frequently but incorrectly thought to be the full version of the term Wi-Fi, which refers to the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) 802.11 wireless LAN standards

According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, Wi-Fi is not an abbreviation. However, it is a play on words based on hi-fi, which was short for high-fidelity (a generic term for high-quality audio reproduction). 

In 1999, the Alliance -- then known as Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) -- hired the marketing company Interbrand to come up with a logo and a catchier name for IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence. Wi-Fi was chosen from a list that included Trapeze, Skybridge, Hornet and Dragonfly

According to founding member Phil Belanger, the WECA board members felt that the name needed some explanation. The tag line "The Standard for Wireless Fidelity" was created. However, as Belanger explained, the tag line only created confusion: Neither WECA nor the Wi-Fi Alliance was ever responsible for developing standards and the term "wireless fidelity" is meaningless. 

This was last updated in April 2014
Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • full-disk encryption (FDE)

    - What is full-disk encryption (FDE)?Full-disk encryption (FDE) is encryption at the hardware level. (WhatIs.com)

  • Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE)

    - Also marketed as Bluetooth Smart, Bluetooth LE was introduced in the Bluetooth 4.0 specification as an alternative to Bluetooth Classic. Like its predecessor, Bluetooth LE uses frequency hopping wi... (WhatIs.com)

  • Cyber Monday

    - Cyber Monday is a marketing event created to promote online sales. The day falls on the Monday after Black Friday, which directly follows American Thanksgiving Day. (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Wireless and mobile

    - Terms related to wireless and mobile technology, including definitions about consumer mobile technology devices and communication technologies such as Wi-Fi, WiMAX and LTE.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About wireless fidelityPowered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.