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The status and future of 802.11-based WLANs

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1 Author(s)
U. Varshney ; Dept. of Comput. Inf. Syst., Georgia State Univ., Atlanta, GA, USA

The main attraction of WLANs is their flexibility. They can extend access to local area networks, such as corporate intranets, as well as support broadband access to the Internet - particularly at "hot spots," public venues where people tend to gather. WLANs can provide quick, easy wireless connectivity to computers, machinery, or systems in a local environment where a fixed communications infrastructure does not exist or where such access is not permitted. These hosts can be stationary, handheld, or even mounted on a moving vehicle. Bandwidth considerations have thus far been secondary in WLAN design and implementation: the original 802.11 standard allowed a maximum channel bit rate of only 2 megabits per second, while the current 802.11 b standard supports an 11 Mbps maximum rate. However, the widespread deployment of 802.11a and 802.11g standards, which allow a bit rate of up to 54 Mbps, will pave the way for new types of mobile applications, including m-commerce transactions and location-based services.

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:36 ,  Issue: 6 )