Fine-Grained Channel Access in Wireless LAN

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Executive Summary

Modern communication technologies are steadily advancing the PHYsical Layer (PHY) data rate in wireless LANs, from hundreds of Mbps in current 802.11n to over Gbps in the near future. As PHY data rates increase, however, the overhead of Media Access Control (MAC) progressively degrades data throughput efficiency. This trend reflects a fundamental aspect of the current MAC protocol, which allocates the channel as a single resource at a time.

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