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This article presents a system architecture, design considerations, and rationale for a mobile operator wireless LAN. The article also discusses the system implementation and performance issues. The system presented reuses GSM and GPRS mechanisms for user authentication, access control, subscriber management, operator roaming, and billing, while still being compatible with wireless Internet service provider networks and IETF and IEEE protocols such as RADIUS, EAP, and IEEE 802.1x. The architecture is a result of research carried out by Nokia between 1999 and 2002. The designed architecture has also been verified in a complete system implementation.