Networking

Characterizing the IEEE 802.11 Traffic: The Wireless Side

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Executive Summary

Many studies on measurement and characterization of wireless LANs have been performed recently. Most of these measurements have been conducted from the wired portion of the network based on wired monitoring or SNMP statistics. In this paper, the authors argue that traffic measurements from a wireless vantage point in the network are more appropriate than wired measurements or SNMP statistics, to expose the wireless medium characteristics and their impact on the traffic patterns. While it is easier to make consistent measurements in the wired part of a network, such measurements cannot observe the significant vagaries present in the wireless medium itself. As a consequence constructing an accurate measurement system from a wireless vantage point is important, but usually quite difficult due to the noisy wireless channel.

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