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The IEEE 802.11n standard allows wireless devices to operate on 40MHz-width channels by doubling their channel width from standard 20MHz channels, a concept called channel bonding. Increasing channel-width should increase bandwidth, but it comes at the cost of decreased transmission range and greater susceptibility to interference. However, with the incorporation of MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) technology in 802.11n, devices can now exploit the increased transmission rates from wider channels at a reduced sacrifice to signal quality and range. The goal of the authors' work is to understand the characteristics of channel bonding in 802.11n networks and the factors that influence that behavior to ultimately be able to predict behavior so that network performance is maximized.
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