As the name suggests, wireless networks offer connectivity without using wires, the most common being Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G networks.
- Wi-Fi or IEEE 802.11
Wi-Fi networks are common in mobile computing devices, with notebooks equipped with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac wireless network adapters. IEEE 802.11n makes use of Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology to boost data throughput up to 300-600Mbit/s. IEEE 802.11ac further extends the technology to achieve over 1Gbit/s throughput. Commercial wi-fi services are available in coffee shops, shopping malls and public areas. These are known as wi-fi hotspots. The Hong Kong government’s GovWiFi scheme also provides free wireless internet access through more than 2,000 hotspots in 400 locations covering public spaces in the city, including public libraries, large parks, and cultural and recreational centers.
- 3G Networks
HSDPA is a 3G mobile telephony communications protocol which offers high-speed internet access to smart phone or tablet device users, allowing convenient internet browsing or video streaming.
- 4G Networks
4G networks (such as LTE or WiMAX) are telecommunications technologies that support wireless broadband access over long distances as an alternative to cable and DSL. While Wi-Fi has a range of hundreds of meters, 4G is a wide-area wireless network technology, providing coverage over kilometers.