Encyclopedia

Protocols of IEEE802

IEEE 802 refers to a family of IEEE standards dealing with local area networks and metropolitan area networks.

More specifically, the IEEE 802 standards are restricted to networks carrying variable-size packets. (By contrast, in cell relay networks data is transmitted in short, uniformly sized units called cells. Isochronous networks, where data is transmitted as a steady stream of octets, or groups of octets, at regular time intervals, are also out of the scope of this standard.) The number 802 was simply the next free number IEEE could assign,though “802” is sometimes associated with the date the first meeting was held — February 1980.

The services and protocols specified in IEEE 802 map to the lower two layers (Data Link and Physical) of the seven-layer OSI networking reference model. In fact, IEEE 802 splits the OSI Data Link Layer into two sub-layers named Logical Link Control (LLC) and Media Access Control (MAC), so that the layers can be listed like this:

  • Data link layer
    LLC Sublayer
    MAC Sublayer
    Physical layer


The IEEE 802 family of standards is maintained by the IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee (LMSC). The most widely used standards are for the Ethernet family, Token Ring, Wireless LAN, Bridging and Virtual Bridged LANs. An individual Working Group provides the focus for each area.

  • Working groups Name Description Note
    IEEE 802.1  Bridging (networking) and Network Management  
    IEEE 802.2  LLC inactive
    IEEE 802.3  Ethernet 
    IEEE 802.4  Token bus disbanded
    IEEE 802.5  Defines the MAC layer for a Token Ring inactive
    IEEE 802.6  MANs (DQDB) disbanded
    IEEE 802.7  Broadband LAN using Coaxial Cable disbanded
    IEEE 802.8  Fiber Optic TAG disbanded
    IEEE 802.9  Integrated Services LAN (ISLAN or isoEthernet) disbanded
    IEEE 802.10  Interoperable LAN Security disbanded
    IEEE 802.11  a/b/g/n Wireless LAN (WLAN) & Mesh (Wi-Fi certification)  
    IEEE 802.12  100BaseVG disbanded
    IEEE 802.13  Unused[2] 
    IEEE 802.14  Cable modems disbanded
    IEEE 802.15  Wireless PAN 
    IEEE 802.15.1  Bluetooth certification  
    IEEE 802.15.2  IEEE 802.15 and IEEE 802.11 coexistence  
    IEEE 802.15.3  High-Rate wireless PAN 
    IEEE 802.15.4  Low-Rate wireless PAN (e.g., ZigBee, WirelessHART, MiWi, etc.)  
    IEEE 802.15.5  Mesh networking for WPAN  
    IEEE 802.15.6  Body area network 
    IEEE 802.16  Broadband Wireless Access (WiMAX certification)  
    IEEE 802.16.1  Local Multipoint Distribution Service 
    IEEE 802.17  Resilient packet ring  
    IEEE 802.18  Radio Regulatory TAG  
    IEEE 802.19  Coexistence TAG  
    IEEE 802.20  Mobile Broadband Wireless Access  
    IEEE 802.21  Media Independent Handoff  
    IEEE 802.22  Wireless Regional Area Network  
    IEEE 802.23  Emergency Services Working Group  
    IEEE 802.24  Smart Grid TAG New (November, 2012)
    IEEE 802.25  Omni-Range Area Network Not yet ratified