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Along with the wide acceptance of IEEE 802.11 wireless local area network (WLAN), new applications such as Internet protocol (IP) telephony over WLAN are fast emerging today. For battery-powered IP phone devices, the life time extension is a key concern for the market acceptance while today's 802.11 is not optimized for such an operation. In this paper, we propose a novel idle mode operation, which comprises paging, idle handoff, and delayed handoff. Under the idle mode operation, a mobile host (MH) without any active session does not need to perform hand-off within a predefined paging area (PA). Only when it enters a new PA, an idle handoff is performed. The proposed idle mode allows an MH without traffic to extend its life time. We develop a new analytical model in order to comparatively evaluate our proposed scheme. The numerical results demonstrate that the proposed scheme outperforms the existing schemes with respect to power consumption.