Something a little catchier than IEEE 802.11b

How Wi-Fi got its name.

 

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Wi-Fi

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).

As IEEE 802.11 was the technical name for the standard, one of WECA’s first tasks was to adopt a more memorable, user-friendly name for marketability and relevance.

Phil Belanger, a founding member of the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (now known as the Wi-Fi Alliance) approached Interbrand knowing that he “needed something that was a little catchier than IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence.” We came up with the name Wi-Fi and then created a logo to match the new name.

Since its launch, Wi-Fi has become globally synonymous with wireless accessibility anywhere. Commenting on the success of the Wi-Fi brand since its naming, Phil Belanger quipped, “So we were smart to hire Interbrand to come up with the name and logo.”