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The IEEE 802.11 standard provides fast recovery from frame losses using a rapid link level positive acknowledgment scheme. However, the adoption of positive acknowledgment leads to inefficient frame transmission. To improve efficiency of the acknowledgments mechanism in IEEE 802.11, we propose a novel link layer protocol for wireless LANs. The proposed protocol is an adaptation of an ATM-based protocol, the service specific connection oriented protocol (SSCOP), for use as a link layer protocol in wireless LANs. The protocol uses significantly less bandwidth on the return path and enhances the performance of data frame transmission. We evaluate and compare the performance of the protocol with IEEE 802.11. The results show that the proposed protocol has a much better performance in an error-prone wireless environment, even when the bit error rate is severely degraded.