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Wi-Fi

Wireless Communications Sheldon Lou

What is Wi-Fi? 
The standard for wireless local area networks (WLANs). It¶s like a common language that all the devices use to communicate to each other. If you have a standard, people can make all sorts of devices that can work with each other.  It¶s actually IEEE 802.11, a family of standards.

The IEEE (Eye-triple-E, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.) is a non-profit, technical professional association of more than 360,000 individual members in approximately 175 countries. The Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance started the Wi-Fi--wireless fidelity--certification program to ensure that equipment claiming 802.11 compliance was genuinely interoperable.

US Frequency Bands
Band UHF ISM S-Band S-Band ISM C-Band C-Band satellite downlink C-Band Radar (weather) C-Band ISM C-Band satellite uplink X-Band X-Band Radar (police/weather) Frequency range 902-928 MHz 2-4 GHz 2.4-2.5 GHz 4-8 GHz 3.7-4.2 GHz 5.25-5.925 GHz 5.725-5.875 GHz 5.925-6.425 GHz 8-12 GHz 8.5-10.55 GHz

4 GHz 802.4 GHz Notes (1997) (1999) .11a 54 Mbps 5 GHz 802.11g 54 Mbps 2.4 GHz 802.Wi-Fi Standards Standard Speed Freq band  802.11b 11 Mbps 2.11 2 Mbps 2.

. ISM bands are set aside for equipment that is related to industrial or scientific processes or is used by medical equipment. which operates in the 2. You don't need a license to set up and operate a wireless network.ISM Band ISM stands for industrial. The ISM bands are license-free.4-GHz ISM band. and medical. scientific. provided that devices are low-power. Perhaps the most familiar ISM-band device is the microwave oven.

Wireless LAN Networks .

WLAN Architecture²Ad Hoc Mode  Ad-Hoc mode: Peer-to-peer setup where clients can connect to each other directly. . Generally not used for business networks.

the participants of a meeting in a conference room may create an ad hoc network at the beginning of the meeting and dissolve it when the meeting ends. . For example.  It¶s set up for a special purpose and for a short period of time.Ad Hoc Structure  Mobile stations communicate to each other directly.

 Not yet in widespread use. creating a ³selfhealing´ and (in theory) infinitely extensible network. unlikely to be in homes. .WLAN Architecture--Mesh  esh: Every client in the network also acts as an access or relay point.

WLAN Architecture²Infrastructure Mode To Wired Network .

or a phone. which becomes the hub of a ³star topology. If a Mobile Station (MS). a PDA. .´  Any communication has to go through AP. it needs to send the information to AP first.Infrastructure network  There is an Access Point (AP). like a computer. wants to communicate with another MS.  Used by the majority of WLANs in homes and businesses. then AP sends it to the destination MS  Multiple APs can be connected together and handle a large number of clients.

Comparison of Two Structures Expansion Flexibility Control Routing Coverage Reliability Infrastructure X X X X X Ad hoc X .

Extended Service Area .

If not. the connection will not be interrupted when an MS moves from one set to another. the two access points will use different channels.  Two BSSs coverage areas can largely overlap to increase the capacity for a particular area.  If the BSSs overlap.  Roughly speaking. the service will be interrupted. If so.Roaming  In an extended service area. as we will explain later. a mobile station (MS) can roam from one BSS (Basic Service Set) to another. . the MS keeps checking the beacon signal sent by each AP and select the strongest one and connect to that AP.

but some select products will let you attach secondary antennas that will significantly boost range.Antennas All WLAN equipment comes with a built-in omni-directional antenna. .

continued  Antennas come in all shapes and styles: Omni-directional:  Vertical Whip  Ceiling mount Directional:  Yagi (³Pringles can´)  Wall mounted panel  Parabolic dish .Antennas.

(3G and 4G cell phones are somewhat different. each person has a dedicated channel during the entire conversation. there is a difference between a network designed for voice conversation and one for data exchange. For voice conversations. like telephone and cell phone calls. New technologies try to accommodate both voice and data transmissions. as we will discuss in this course. as we will explain later. . many users can share one channel.How Can Several Users Communicate Simultaneously? As we have discussed.) For data exchange. A user sends information when no one else is sending.

 If some station is sending or receiving signal. It¶s like they are sharing one single cable (the air in this case).) don¶t communicate simultaneously. Each packet/frame contains a number of bits of information. . since their waiting times are randomly generated and thus not equal. etc. it checks to see if someone else is sending information. only one person can use it at one time.  Before an MS (mobile station) sends its packets.  Devices (phones. the MS that intends to send will generate a random waiting time and wait for its turn. Thus collision (two or more MSs sending signals simultaneously) is avoided. Only when the medium is free can an MS sends packets.Share one channel in data communication  In data communication. data are grouped into packets/frames.  It¶s called Carrier Sensing Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA). they will not start sending simultaneously. If several MSs are all waiting for their turns. computers.

Example 4. 189.18) .How does CSMA/CA (Carrier Sensing Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance) Work? (p.

Fig.  After completion of the transmission.14) to avoid collision when two MSs cannot hear each other (blocked by a wall «).17 & p. therefore the source terminal sends its packet with no contention. Fig. and the length of the data to be sent. the destination station sends an ACK. 4.  Other terminals go to the virtual carrier-sensing mode (NAV signal on).  The destination station responds with CTS packet.RTS/CTS (Request-to-send/clear-tosend)  Use Request-to-send/clear-to-send (RTS/CTS) mechanism (p. 191-192. opening contention for other users. destination address. 462.  The source terminal receives the CTS and sends the data.  A terminal ready for transmission sends an RTS packet identifying the source address. . 11.

11  It is a requirement imposed by the regulatory authorities for devices in ISM band in order to reduce interference.Spread spectrum in 802.  We discuss two methods specified in 802.11.  There is also limitations on transmitted power. . FHSS and DSSS.

11b  Symbol transmission rate = 1Mbps  Multipath spread of up to 1/1 Mbps = 1 µs does not cause ISI.DSSS in 802.11  Used by 802. For indoor applications this ensures that the system does not suffer from ISI.  Chip rate = 11 Mcps  Resolution is on the order of 1/11 Mcps = 90 ns. p.  Use Barker code (Example 3. 116).16. .

4. p. 11.Complementary code keying (CCK)  Used to increase the data rate to 11 Mbps  Example 17. p. 119  Sec. 457 .3.

that results in a threefold increase in the capacity of the cell. 75). (1.  These frequencies are divided into three patterns of 26 hops each corresponding channel numbers (0. 6. 5. 2. 454. «. «. 7. 11.402 GHz. 76). and Europe standards).11  The frequency can hop over 78 hopping channels each separated by 1 MHz. Channel 1 is at 2. Channel 0.5 hops per second. Channel 2. 77).Frequency Hopping in 802.5. Canada. .  Hop rate = 2. 9.403 GHz. 8. and so on up to Channel 77 at 2. see p.479 GHz (US.  Three APs can coexist without any hop collision. «. 10. 4. The first channel.404 GHz. starts at 2. (2. 3. 11. Fig.

4 GHz is divided into 11 overlapping channels spaced by 5 MHz (see Fig. For example. but the center frequency hops over 76 MHz.6. BSS) may overlap to increase capacity.  The ISM band at 2. 11. With two overlapping APs. P.  APs located close to each other can choose different channels to mitigate interference. . DSSS uses a chip rate of 11 Mcps which occupies around 26 MHz of bandwidth (wideband). up to 8 users can use VoIP simultaneously through one access point.  The coverage areas of two access points (Basic Service Sets. 16 users can talk simultaneously. But the two APs have to use non-overlapping channels. 455).Frequency bands for DSSS  FHSS uses 1 MHz bandwidth (narrowband).

. 3.1. p. 97).6.Modulation  Gaussian frequency shift keying (GFSK) is used (Sec.

and disassociation  Authentication and deauthentication  Providing privacy . re-association.Wi-Fi network services  Distribution and integration  Association.

. Once a frame has been accepted by an access point. including communications between two mobile stations associated with the same access point. it uses the distribution service to deliver the frame to its destination.Distribution  This service is used by mobile stations in an infrastructure network every time they send data. Any communication that uses an access point travels through the distribution service.

except in terms of the services it must offer. it allows the connection of the distribution system to a non-IEEE 802.11.Integration  Integration is a service provided by the distribution system. The integration function is specific to the distribution system used and therefore is not specified by 802.11 network. .

Association  Delivery of frames to mobile stations is made possible because mobile stations register. . The distribution system can then use the registration information to determine which access point to use for any mobile station. with access points. or associate.

After the reassociation is complete. . they are never initiated by the access point. it must evaluate signal strength and perhaps switch the access point with which it is associated. the distribution system updates its location records to reflect the reachability of the mobile station through a different access point. Reassociations are initiated by mobile stations when signal conditions indicate that a different association would be beneficial.Reassociation  When a mobile station moves between basic service areas within a single extended service area.

Once disassociation is complete. however. . it is as if the station is no longer attached to the network. When stations invoke the disassociation service.Disassociation  To terminate an existing association. Disassociation is a polite task to do during the station shutdown process. any mobility data stored in the distribution system is removed. designed to accommodate stations that leave the network without formally disassociating. The MAC is. stations may use the disassociation service.

however. Authentication is a necessary prerequisite to association because only authenticated users are authorized to use the network. Wireless networks cannot offer the same level of physical security. many access points are configured for "open-system" mode and will authenticate any station. Wired network¶s equipment can be locked inside offices. Because authentication is needed before network use is authorized. though. . and therefore must depend on additional authentication routines to ensure that users accessing the network are authorized to do so.)  Deauthentication terminates an authenticated relationship. (In practice.Authetication/deauthentication  Physical security is a major component of a wired LAN security solution. a side effect of deauthentication is termination of any current association.