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Chapter 13: Wireless LAN

 Overview of LANs and wireless LAN
technology and applications
 Transmission techniques of wireless LANs
 Spread spectrum
 Narrowband microwave
 Infrared
Wireless LAN Technology

Chapter 13
Wireless LAN
 Local Area Network that utilizes wireless
 Antennas and equipment: confined and
small, so it’s cheap and easy to install
 Factors of installing Wireless LANs:
 Price

 Data Rate

 Occupational Safety Concerns

 Licensing Requirements
Wireless LAN Applications
 LAN Extension
 Cross-building interconnect
 Nomadic Access
 Ad hoc networking
LAN Extension
 Wireless LAN linked into a wired LAN on
same premises
 Wired LAN
 Backbone
 Support servers and stationary workstations

 Wireless LAN
 Stations in large open areas
 Manufacturing plants, stock exchange trading

floors, and warehouses

LAN Extension
Multiple-cell Wireless LAN
Cross-Building Interconnect
 Connect LANs in nearby buildings
 Wired or wireless LANs
 Point-to-point wireless link is used
 Devices connected are typically bridges or
 Aimed to have line-of-sight communications
without the use of complex and impractical
Nomadic Access
 Wireless link between LAN hub and mobile
data terminal equipped with antenna
 Laptop computer or notepad computer
 Smartphone
 Uses:
 Transfer data from portable computer to
office server
 Extended environment such as campus
Nomadic Access
Ad Hoc Networking
 Temporary peer-to-peer network set up to
meet immediate need
 Example:
 Group of employees with laptops convene for a
meeting; employees link computers in a
temporary network for duration of meeting
Ad Hoc Networking
Wireless LAN Requirements
 Throughput
 Maximize capacity and data rate
 Number of nodes
 How many passive and active devices are
 Connection to backbone LAN
 In most cases, interconnection with stations
on a wired backbone LAN is required
 Use of control modules that connect to both
types of LANs
 Use for mobile and ad hoc users
Wireless LAN Requirements
 Service area
 Coverage area of 100 – 300m
 Battery power consumption
 Uses battery to communicate, signals
consume power
 Mostly for mobile networks (e.g. smartphone
battery life)
 Transmission robustness and security
 Resistance to eavesdropping
 Security especially with important
information (e.g. bank accounts, address)
Wireless LAN Requirements
 Collocated network operation
 Multiple WLAN networks must not interfere
with each other
 Prevent unauthorized access
 License-free operation
 WLANs do not need to be registered and
licensed, but must not interfere with the
signals of other networks
 Handoff/roaming
 For mobile networks, must handle proper
transfer from one antenna station to another
Wireless LAN Requirements
 Dynamic configuration
 LAN should permit dynamic and automated
addition, deletion, and relocation of end
systems without disruption to other users
Kiviat Graph
 A system of checking requirements for each
LAN/WLAN networks
Wireless LAN Categories
 Infrared (IR) LANs
 Uses Infrared light (IR)
 Small coverage area since IR cannot penetrate
 Spread spectrum LANs
 Uses Spread Spectrum Technologies
 Unlicensed and used for Industrial, Scientific,
and Medical applications
 Narrowband microwave
 Uses microwave frequencies
Wireless LAN Categories
Strengths of Infrared Over
Microwave Radio
 Spectrum for infrared virtually unlimited
 Possibility of high data rates
 Infrared spectrum unregulated
 Equipment inexpensive and simple
 Reflected by light-colored objects
 Ceiling reflection for entire room coverage
 Doesn’t penetrate walls
 More easily secured against eavesdropping
 Less interference between different rooms
Drawbacks of Infrared Medium
 Indoor environments experience infrared
background radiation
 Sunlight and indoor lighting
 Ambient radiation appears as noise in an
infrared receiver
 Transmitters of higher power required
 Limited by concerns of eye safety and
excessive power consumption
 Limits range
IR Data Transmission Techniques
 Directed Beam Infrared
 Ominidirectional
 Diffused
Directed Beam Infrared
 Used to create point-to-point links
 Range depends on emitted power and
degree of focusing
 Focused IR data link can have range of
 Cross-building interconnect between bridges
or routers
Directed Beam Infrared
 Single base station within line of sight of all
other stations on LAN
 Station typically mounted on ceiling
 Base station acts as a multiport repeater
 Ceiling transmitter broadcasts signal received
by IR transceivers
 IR transceivers transmit with directional
beam aimed at ceiling base unit
 All IR transmitters focused and aimed at a
point on diffusely reflecting ceiling
 IR radiation strikes ceiling
 Reradiated omnidirectionally
 Picked up by all receivers
IR Network Setup
Spread Spectrum LAN
 Multiple-cell arrangement
 Within a cell, either peer-to-peer or hub
 Peer-to-peer topology
 No hub
 Access controlled with MAC algorithm
 Appropriate for ad hoc LANs
Spread Spectrum LAN
 Hub topology
 Mounted on the ceiling and connected to
 May control access
 May act as multiport repeater
 Automatic handoff of mobile stations
 Stations in cell either:
 Transmit to / receive from hub only
 Broadcast using omnidirectional antenna

 Example: Wifi (IEEE 802.11)

Spread Spectrum LAN
Spread Spectrum LAN
Configuration Transmission Issues
Frequencies used:
 902-928 MHz (915 MHz band)

 2.4-2.4835 GHz (2.4 GHz band)

 5.725-5.825 GHz (5.8 GHz band)

 Operations from these frequencies are often

 The higher the frequency band, in general
the more expensive the equipment
Narrowband Microwave LANs
 Use of a microwave radio frequency band for
signal transmission
 Relatively narrow bandwidth
 Licensed
 Unlicensed
Licensed Narrowband RF
 For voice, data, and video transmission
 Licensed within specific geographic areas to
avoid potential interference (typically, have
range of 28km)
 Motorola - 600 licenses in 18-GHz range
 Covers all metropolitan areas
 Can assure that independent LANs in nearby
locations don’t interfere
 Encrypted transmissions prevent eavesdropping
 It guarantees interference-free communication
Unlicensed Narrowband RF
 RadioLAN introduced narrowband wireless
LAN in 1995
 Uses unlicensed ISM spectrum
 Used at low power (0.5 watts or less)
 Operates at 10 Mbps in the 5.8-GHz band
 Range = 50 m to 100 m