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The behavior of wireless networks employed for industrial, real-time, applications is strongly influenced by the MAC protocols and, in particular, by some of their specific parameters, which are often set according to the requirements of different applications, e.g. those typical of the office environments. In this paper we consider the IEEE 802.11 WLAN and provide a statistical analysis of a specific performance index, namely the service time, for a network configuration typical of industrial applications. The behavior of the service time is evaluated for different transmission rates. The analysis shows that, for low signal-to-noise ratios, it may be very convenient to reduce the transmission rate since this choice ensures a more robust communication at the only expense of a limited increase of the service time.