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Overview of Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN)
  • Last Updated : 17 Mar, 2021

WPAN : Wireless Personal Area Network in short known as WPAN. Actually WPAN is PAN (Personal Area Network) where the interconnected devices are centered around a person’s workspace and connected through wireless medium. That’s why it is also called as Person’s centered short range wireless connectivity. Typically the range is within about 10 meters means very short range. Plugging in is one of the key concept in WPAN as within a close proximity WPAN-equipped devices communicate with each other as like they are connected through cable. Unlike WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) where there is a requirement of infrastructure setup, in WPAN connection involves little or no infrastructure. In general, if we will see this WPAN provides power efficient and inexpensive solutions to be implemented for a wide range of devices within a short range distance.

As in WPAN mostly the connection between the devices happens within the building or in a room (short range) So, let’s take an example of WiFi connection through which two friends are chatting, sharing documents with each other in room.

Some more examples of WPAN includes Wireless mouse, Wearable devices, USB flash drives, Digital cameras, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Thermostats, Security systems, Lighting controls, Motion sensors, Personal server and Leak sensors etc.

As per IEEE, Wireless Personal Area Network is classified into 3 classes i.e

  1. High-rate WPAN (HR-WPAN) : It is defined in the IEEE 802.15.3 standard. Data throughput is > 20 Mbps.
  2. Medium-rate WPAN (MR-WPAN) : It is defined in the IEEE 802.15.1 standard. Data throughput is 1 Mbp.
  3. Low-rate WPAN (LR-WPAN) : It is defined in the IEEE 802.15.4 standard. Data throughput is < 0.25 Mbps.

Applications of WPAN :



  • Short range connectivity for multimedia applications
  • Hands free devices connection
  • Industrial sensor applications

WPAN Topologies :

As mostly use of WPAN is within short range so it is mainly used for general purpose uses and with little industrial requirement implementations which supports below network connectivity arrangements (network topology)

  1. Star Topology
  2. Mesh Topology
  3. Cluster Tree Topology

Technologies used in WPAN :

  1. Bluetooth
  2. ZigBee
  3. Infrared
  4. Z-wave
  5. Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN)

Features of WPAN :

  • Low cost, Little or No infrastructure setup
  • Short range communication
  • Small personal network , use anywhere
  • Wide range of devices
  • Low power consumption
  • No complex connectivity

Advantages of WPAN :

  • Security
  • Portability
  • Easy Connectivity
  • Stability

Disadvantages of WPAN :

  • Short range
  • Transfer speed

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