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Definition: wireless broadband

An umbrella term for high-speed wireless data transmission. The "high" in high-speed is always a changing number. In the past, wireless broadband started at 250 Kbps for cellular data, and land-based broadband started at 1.5 Mbps (T1 rates). Subsequently, 4G cellular and Wi-Fi hotspots have long passed the T1 benchmark. Nevertheless, wireless systems are generally slower than land-based, wireline networks. See T1.

Wireless Local and Wireless Wide Area
Wireless broadband falls into local and wide area categories. Wireless local area networks (WLANs), namely 802.11 Wi-Fi networks, transmit at very high-speed, but coverage areas (hotspots) span only a couple hundred feet. In contrast, the 3G/4G/LTE wireless wide area networks (WWANs) from the cellular carriers are slower than Wi-Fi but provide data service nationwide. See WISP, 802.11, 802.16, cellular generations and broadband.