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The design and simulation of coding schemes, medium access control (MAC), and link-layer protocols for future industrial wireless local area networks can be supported by some understanding of the statistical properties of the bit error patterns delivered by a wireless link (which is an ensemble of transmitter, channel, receiver, modems). The authors present results of bit error measurements taken with an IEEE 802.11-compliant radio modem in an industrial environment. In addition to reporting the most important results, they draw some conclusions for the design of MAC and link-layer protocols. Furthermore, they show that the popular Gilbert/Elliot model and a modified version of it are a useful tool for simulating bit errors on a wireless link, despite their simplicity and failure to match certain measured statistics.