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Broadband wireless access (BWA) offers attractive features such as ease and speed of deployment, fast realization of revenues, and low infrastructure cost. This paper focuses on medium access control (MAC) alternatives that can find application in an LMDS/LMCS network capable of supporting multimedia traffic. Multifrequency demand assignment TDMA-based schemes appear (at the moment) to be a suitable choice in this context. The selected protocol should be dynamically capable of providing multirate capabilities and quality-of-service guarantees. An obvious candidate for the aforementioned purpose is the LMDS-specific MAC proposal in the DAVIC 1.2 recommendation. For purposes of comparison, we also examine the evolving IEEE 802.14 MAC convergence protocol and MCNS (multimedia cable network system) DOCSIS (ITU J-112) MAC standard that are intended to support similar applications and services in an HFC (hybrid fiber coax) environment. The three protocols are examined under noiseless and noisy channel conditions. Previous results on LMDS channel characteristics are summarized and used for modeling noisy channel conditions. The candidate protocols are compared in terms of mean access delay, throughput, and collision multiplicity statistics, when contention of users is involved. The effect of dynamic slot allocation on the performance of the candidate protocols is also examined.
Date of Publication: July 2000