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HIPERLAN Type 1 is a standard for high-speed wireless local area networks, developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). It supports directed point-to-point communication based on ad hoc network topology at a data transfer rate on the air interface of 23.5 Mbit/s. The paper deals with an analytical and simulation analysis of the HIPERLAN/1 MAC protocol. General closed formulas are derived for the major channel access performance indexes, which are used both to prove the operational stability of the MAC protocol, and to derive a figure for the maximum channel utilization achievable. A simulation analysis is then carried out, focusing both on the influence of traffic burstiness on protocol performance, and on the capability to manage traffic classes with different quality of service (QoS) requirements. Simulation results show that HIPERLAN/1 is well suited for managing the bursty traffic that is expected to be generated by wireless LAN applications. Furthermore, HIPERLAN/1 provides a good isolation of the delay-sensitive traffic from the best effort traffic.