In this paper, we develop a model-based frame scheduling scheme, called MFS, to enhance the capacity of IEEE 802.11-operated wireless local area networks (WLANs) for both transmission control protocol (TCP) and user datagram protocol (UDP) traffic. In MFS each node estimates the current network status by keeping track of the number of collisions it encounters between its two consecutive successful frame transmissions, and computes accordingly the current network utilization. The result is then used to determine a scheduling delay to be introduced before a node attempts to transmit its pending frame. MFS does not require any change in IEEE 802.11, but instead lays a thin layer between the LL and medium access control (MAC) layers. In order to accurately calculate the current utilization in WLANs, we develop an analytical model that characterizes data transmission activities in IEEE 802.11-operated WLANs with/without the request to send/clear to send (RTS/CTS) mechanism, and validate the model with ns-2 simulation. All the control overhead incurred in the physical and MAC layers, as well as system parameters specified in IEEE 802.11, are figured in. We conduct a comprehensive simulation study to evaluate MFS in perspective of the number of collisions, achievable throughput, intertransmission delay, and fairness in the cases of TCP and UDP traffic. The simulation results indicate that the performance improvement with respect to the protocol capacity in a WLAN of up to 300 nodes is 1) as high as 20% with the RTS/CTS and 70% without the RTS/CTS in the case of UDP traffic and 2) as high as 10% with the RTS/CTS and 40% without the RTS/CTS in the case of TCP traffic. Moreover, the intertransmission delay in MFS is smaller and exhibits less variation than that in IEEE 802.11; the fairness among wireless nodes in MFS is better than, or equal to, that in IEEE 802.11.