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What is the number 802.11 in IEEE 802.11 representing? I mean, if you break it down, what exactly are 802 and 11?

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802 is the number for the IEEE LAN/MAN Standards Committee, and 802.11 is the Wireless LAN Working Group.

The IEEE 802 committee maintains a web site, which lists the various current working groups within the committee.

Current:

  • 802.1 Higher Layer LAN Protocols Working Group
  • 802.3 Ethernet Working Group
  • 802.11 Wireless LAN Working Group
  • 802.15 Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN) Working Group
  • 802.16 Broadband Wireless Access Working Group
  • 802.18 Radio Regulatory TAG
  • 802.19 Wireless Coexistence Working Group
  • 802.21 Media Independent Handover Services Working Group
  • 802.22 Wireless Regional Area Networks
  • 802.24 Vertical Applications TAG
  • 802 5G/IMT-2020 Standing Committee

Hibernating:

  • 802.17 Resilient Packet Ring Working Group
  • 802.20 Mobile Broadband Wireless Access (MBWA) Working Group

Disbanded:

  • 802.2 Logical Link Control Working Group
  • 802.4 Token Bus Working Group
  • 802.5 Token Ring Working Group
  • 802.6 Metropolitan Area Network Working Group
  • 802.7 Broadband TAG
  • 802.8 Fiber Optic TAG
  • 802.9 Integrated Services LAN Working Group
  • 802.10 Security Working Group
  • 802.12 Demand Priority Working Group
  • 802.14 Cable Modem Working Group
  • 802.23 Emergency Services Working Group
  • QOS/FC Executive Committee Study Group
  • ECSG TVWS TV Whitespace study group
  • ES-ECSG Emergency Services Executive Committee Study Group
  • OmniRAN EC Study Group
  • Privacy Recommendation EC Study Group
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From wikipedia

The number 802 was simply the next free number IEEE could assign,1 though “802” is sometimes associated with the date the first meeting was held — February 1980.

11 is simply the number for Wireless LAN working group since 1 to 10 are already being used by other working groups at the time.

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