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IEEE 802.

11 Wireless
LAN
Wireless Links: High Bit Error Rate
 Decreasing signal strength
 Interference from other sources
 Attenuates as it passes through matter
 Electromagnetic noise
 Multi-path propagation





A
B
C
Scenario #1: Infrastructure Mode
network
infrastructure
Base station connects
mobiles into wired
network
Scenario #2: Ad Hoc Networks
Ad hoc mode
 No base stations
 Nodes can only transmit to
other nodes within link
coverage
 Nodes self-organize and
route among themselves
IEEE 802.11Wireless LAN
•Wireless LAN standard defined in the unlicensed spectrum
•Standards covers the MAC sublayer and PHY layers
•The basic service set (BSS) is the basic building block of an IEEE 802.11
LAN
The primary goal of the standard was the specification of a simple and robust
WLAN which offers time-bounded and asynchronous services
802.11- Infrastructure Network
 Station (STA)
 terminal with access mechanisms
to the wireless medium and radio
contact to the access point
 Basic Service Set (BSS)
 group of stations using the same
radio frequency
Access Point
 station integrated into the wireless
LAN and the distribution system
 Portal
 bridge to other (wired) networks
 Distribution System
 interconnection network to form
one logical network (ESS:
Extended Service Set) based
on several BSS
Distribution System
Portal
802.x LAN
Access
Point
802.11 LAN
BSS
2

802.11 LAN
BSS
1

Access
Point
STA
1

STA
2
STA
3

ESS
802.11- Ad hoc Network
802.11 LAN
BSS
2

BSS
1

STA
1

STA
4

STA
5

STA
2

STA
3

•Direct communication within a
limited range
•Station (STA):
terminal with access mechanisms to
the wireless medium
•Basic Service Set (BSS):
group of stations using the same radio
frequency
IEEE 802.11Wireless LAN
Advantages
Flexibility: Radio waves can penetrate walls, senders and receivers can be
placed anywhere
Planning: Wireless ad-hoc networks allow for communication without
previous planning
Design: Wireless networks allow for the design of small, independent
devices which can for example be put into a pocket
Robustness: Wireless networks can survive disasters, e.g., earthquakes or
users pulling a plug
Cost: After providing wireless access to the infrastructure via an access point
for the first user, adding additional users to a wireless network will not
increase the cost

802.11 in the TCP/IP stack
802.11- layers and functions
PMD
PLCP
MAC
LLC
MAC Management
PHY Management
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 MAC
 access mechanisms,
fragmentation, encryption
 MAC Management
 synchronization, roaming,
MIB, power management,

 PLCP Physical Layer Convergence
Protocol
 clear channel assessment
signal (carrier sense)
 PMD Physical Medium Dependent
 modulation, coding
 PHY Management
 channel selection, MIB
 Station Management
 coordination of all
management functions