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A real-time frame-layer rate control algorithm is proposed for low bit rate video coding over IEEE 802.11 wireless local area network (WLAN). The proposed rate control method performs bit allocation at the frame level to minimize the average distortion over an entire sequence as well as variations in distortion between frames. A new frame-layer rate-distortion model is derived, and a non-iterative optimization method is used for low computational complexity. The proposed algorithm produces low encoding time delay, and is suitable for real-time low-complexity video encoder. Experimental results indicate that the proposed control method provides better visual and PSNR performance than the existing TMN8 rate control method.