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IEEE 802.11: moving closer to practical wireless LANs

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Although the IEEE 802.11 standard has been around since 1997, work continues to make it more adaptable to the demand for higher data rates and true wireless flexibility. Until recently, few organizations used wireless LANs because they cost too much, their data rates were too low, they posed occupational safety problems because of concerns about the health effects of electromagnetic radiation, and the spectrum used required a license. Today, these problems have largely diminished, and wireless LAN popularity is skyrocketing. Wireless LANs must meet requirements typical of any LAN. They must also meet requirements specific to their intended environment. IEEE 802.11 defines several services that the wireless LAN must provide if its usefulness is to match the functionality inherent in wired LANs. IEEE 802.11 is poised to have a significant impact on the LAN marketplace. As the demand for mobility and freedom from wiring requirements increases, the standard offers a comprehensive yet flexible approach to wireless LAN products.

Published in:

IT Professional  (Volume:3 ,  Issue: 3 )

Date of Publication:

May-June 2001

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