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Wireless communication systems present unique challenges and trade-offs at various levels of the system design process. Since a variety of performance measures are important in wireless communications, a family of testbeds becomes essential to validate the gains reported by the theory. Wireless testbeds also play a very important role in academia for training students and enabling research. In this article we discuss a classification scheme for wireless testbeds and present an example of the testbeds developed at UCLA for each of these cases. We present the unique capabilities of these testbeds, provide the results of the experiments, and discuss the role they play in an educational environment.