An Architecture for Extensible Wireless LANs

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Executive Summary

Off late wireless LANs are a mess. The current 802.11 family of WLANs involves a jumble of competing standards, and a slew of implementations with varying degrees of interoperability and conformance to those standards. This situation has arisen in part from the need to innovate and evolve these networks over time, driven by new applications and increasing load. In the future one expects this situation to get worse, given the shift towards wireless as the dominant access network. Driving these changes are new devices such as Wi-Fi enabled VOIP handsets and audiovisual equipment, as well as new services such as Apple's Time Capsule which performs background backups over wireless.

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