Richard van Nee






Richard van Nee received the PhD degree from Delft University of Technology in 1995. From 1995 to 2000, he worked for Lucent Technologies Bell Labs in Nieuwegein, The Netherlands, where he invented the CCK codes that are used in IEEE 802.11b and developed the OFDM-based proposal that was adopted in IEEE 802.11a. In 2001, he cofounded Airgo Networks – acquired by Qualcomm in 2006 – that developed the first MIMO-OFDM modem for wireless LAN which formed the basis of 802.11n. Together with Ramjee Prasad, he wrote a book on OFDM, entitled 'OFDM for Mobile Multimedia Communications.' He is currently a Senior Director at Qualcomm where he is working on WiFi algorithm design and new 802.11 standards. He holds over 100 patents and served several times as an expert witness in WiFi related lawsuits.   



Key WiFi publications

1)      R. van Nee, ‘OFDM physical layer specification for the 5 GHz band,’ IEEE P802.11-98/12, January 1998.

This is the first proposal to use OFDM for wireless LAN rather than single-carrier techniques. This proposal got adopted by 802.11a after merging with a proposal from NTT that also used OFDM.  

2)      R. van Nee, “OFDM Codes for Peak-to-Average Power Reduction and Error Correction,” IEEE Globecom 96, London, November 1996, pp. 740-744.

Equation 3 of this paper describes the length 8 complementary code set that was adopted in 802.11b to increase the data rate from 2 to 11Mbps while maintaining the same bandwidth as the baseline 802.11 direct-sequence spread-spectrum standard.

3)      M. Webster, C. Andren, J. Boer, R. Van Nee, “Harris/Lucent TGb Compromise CCK (11 Mbps) Proposal,” IEEE P802.11-98/246a, July 1998.

CCK proposal that got adopted by 802.11b in July 1998 with the length-8 CCK codes from Richard van Nee and the specific subset of CCK codes used for the fallback rate of 5.5Mbps designed by Mark Webster.

4)      R. van Nee, ‘Digital communications system using complementary codes and amplitude modulation,’ US patent 5,841,813, November 1998, filed September 1996.

Equation 1 of this patent describes the complementary code set that was adopted in 802.11b to increase the data rate from 2 to 11Mbps while maintaining the same bandwidth as the baseline 802.11 direct-sequence spread-spectrum standard.

5)      R. van Nee, G. Awater, M. Morikura, H. Takanashi, M. Webster, and K. Halford, ‘New High Rate Wireless LAN Standards,’ IEEE Communications Magazine, December 1999.

First journal publication of the 802.11a and 802.11b standards.

6)      R. van Nee and R. Prasad, ‘OFDM for Mobile Multimedia Communications,’ Boston, Artech House, December 1999.

This is the first book to describe the use of OFDM for wireless communications, including the use of OFDM in 802.11a.

7)      R. van Nee, A. van Zelst, and G. Awater, ‘Maximum Likelihood Decoding in a Space Division Multiplexing System,’ IEEE VTC2000, Toky, Japan, May 15-18, 2000.

This is the first description of a relatively low complexity way to do near maximum likelihood decoding for MIMO, which is essential to get good MIMO performance and which is is common practice now in MIMO receivers for wireless LAN and LTE.

8)      Richard van Nee, ‘MIMO-OFDM Multiple Antenna Technology,’ Communications Design Conference, San Francisco, March 2004.

Presentation of results of the first MIMO-OFDM pre-11n implementation from Airgo Networks which doubled the highest data rate at that time from 54 to 108 Mbps. This presentation was also the first to introduce the now commonly used range-versus-range plots to demonstrate the advantage of MIMO.   

9)      R. van Nee et al., ‘Strawmodel 802.11ac Specification Framework,’ IEEE document 802.11-09/0633r1, September 2009.

This is the first version of the specification framework for 802.11ac, which is the first standard to use Multi-User MIMO to increase system capacity, in addition to several enhancements to single-link rates such as 80MHz channels, 256-QAM, and the use of up to 8 spatial streams.

10)  R. van Nee, ‘Breaking the Gigabit-per-second barrier with 802.11ac  IEEE Wireless Communications Magazine, Vol 18 , No 2, 2011.

First publication in an IEEE journal on 802.11ac.

10)  R. van Nee, ‘20 Years of WiFi from A to AX  Presentation at Eindhoven University Wireless Colloquium, February 6, 2017



IEEE 802.11 documents before 2000 can be found at



Other info



WiFi timeline with details of 11a and 11b selection procedure