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CECS 474 Computer Network Interoperability. CHAPTE R 16 Wireless Networking Technologies. Tracy Bradley Maples, Ph.D. Computer Engineering & Computer Science Cal ifornia State University, Long Beach. Notes for Douglas E. Comer, Computer Networks and Internets (5 th Edition) .

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CHAPTE R 16 Wireless Networking Technologies

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Chapte r 16 wireless networking technologies

CECS 474 Computer Network Interoperability

CHAPTER16

Wireless NetworkingTechnologies

Tracy Bradley Maples, Ph.D.

Computer Engineering & Computer Science

Cal ifornia State University, Long Beach

Notes for Douglas E. Comer, Computer Networks and Internets (5th Edition)


Chapte r 16 wireless networking technologies

  • Wireless Network Taxonomy

  • Wireless communication includes a wide range of network types and sizes.

  • Government regulations that make specific ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum available for communication

  • A license is required to operate transmission equipment in some parts of the spectrum and other parts of the spectrum are unlicensed


Chapte r 16 wireless networking technologies

  • Personal Area Networks (PANs)

  • A PAN technology provides communication over a short distance.

  • It is intended for use with devices that are owned and operated by a single user. 


  • IEEE has assigned the number 802.15 to PAN standards.


Chapte r 16 wireless networking technologies

  • Bluetooth

  • The IEEE 802.15.1a Standard evolved after vendors created Bluetooth technology as a short-distance wireless connection technology.

  • The characteristics of the Bluetooth technology are:

    • Wireless replacement for cables (e.g., headphones or mouse)

    • Uses 2.4 GHz frequency band

    • Short distance (up to 5 meters, with variations up to 10 or 50 meters)

    • Device is either master or slave

    • Master grants permission to slave

    • Data rate is up to 721 Kbps


Chapte r 16 wireless networking technologies

Wireless LAN Standards (WiFi)

Standards from the first years of WiFi:


Chapte r 16 wireless networking technologies

Wireless LAN Standards (WiFi) (cont’d)

More recent WiFi standards:

802.11n– Standardized in 2009.

-- Extends 802.11b and .11g

-- Uses the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands

-- Expected total multi-station throughput of 600 Mbps

-- Uses MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) by having multiple antennae at both sender and receiver

-- Up to 4 more MIMO spatial streams

802.11ac – Preliminary versions now showing up in new WiFi Routers.

-- WLANs on the 5 GHz frequency bands

-- Final standard approval expected in early 2014

-- Expected total multi-station throughput of 1 Gbps; single link throughput 500 Mbps

-- Extends 802.11n capabilities with: wider RF band & up to 8 MIMO spatial streams


Chapte r 16 wireless networking technologies

Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) Architecture

Note: The set of computers within range of a given access point is known as a Basic Service Set (BSS).


Chapte r 16 wireless networking technologies

Contention and Contention-Free Access

RTS: Request to Send (frame sent to request communication and reserve channel)

CTS: Clear to Send (frame sent confirming reserved channel)

ACK: Acknowledgement

DIFS: Distributed InterframeSpace (enough time for the station to sense the medium to see that it is idle)

SIFS: Short InterframeSpace (enough time for the transmitting station to switch back to receive mode)

Note: More on this will be discussed in the Wireless Supplement notes.


Chapte r 16 wireless networking technologies

  • Wireless MAN Technology and WiMAX

  • Standardized by IEEE under the category IEEE 802.16.

  • Two main versions of WiMAX are being developed that differ in their overall approach:

  • Fixed WiMAX

    • refers to systems built using IEEE 802.16-2004 (informally called 802.16d)

    • does not provide for handoff among access points

    • provides connections between a service provider and a fixed location

  • Mobile WiMAX

    • Standard 802.16e-2005 (informally called 802.16e)

    • handoffs among Aps

    • used for mobile hosts


Chapte r 16 wireless networking technologies

Wireless MAN Technology and WiMAX (cont’d)

WiMAX offers broadband communication that can be used in a variety of ways:


Chapte r 16 wireless networking technologies

Wireless MAN Technology and WiMAX (cont’d)

  • The key features of WiMAX can be summarized as follows:

    • Uses licensed spectrum (i.e., offered by carriers)

    • Each cell can cover a radius of 3 to 10 Km

    • Uses scalable orthogonal FDM

    • Guarantees quality of services (for voice or video)

    • Can transport 70 Mbps in each direction at short distances

    • Provides 10 Mbps over a long distance (10 Km)


Chapte r 16 wireless networking technologies

Cellular Communication Systems

  • When moving between two cells belonging to the same MSC the switching center handles the change.

  • When a user passes from one geographic region to another, MSCs are involved in the handoff.


Chapte r 16 wireless networking technologies

  • Cellular Communication Systems (cont’d)

  • (a) Perfect cellular coverage occurs if each cell is a hexagon:

    • because the cells can be arranged in a honeycomb

    • in practice, cellular coverage is imperfect

  • (b) Most cell towers use omnidirectional antennas:

    • transmit in a circular pattern

    • obstructions and electrical interference can attenuate a signal or cause an irregular pattern

      • in some cases, cells overlap and in others, gaps exist with no coverage


Chapte r 16 wireless networking technologies

  • Generations of Cellular Technologies

  • Telecommunications industry divides cellular technologies into four generations: 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G (with intermediate versions labeled 2.5G and 3.5G)

  • Simplified Descriptions:

  • 1G

    • Began in the late 1970s, and extended through the 1980s

    • Originally called cellular mobile radio telephones

    • used analog signals to carry voice 

  • 2G and 2.5G

    • Began in the early 1990s and continues to be used

    • One standard: GSM (General System for Communications)

    • The main distinction between 1G and 2G arises because 2G uses digital signals to carry voice

    • The label 2.5G is used for systems that extend a 2G system to include some 3G features


Chapte r 16 wireless networking technologies

  • Generations of Cellular Technologies (cont’d)

  • 3G and 3.5G

    • Began in the 2000s

    • Focuses on the addition of higher-speed data services

    • A 3G system offers download rates of 400 Kbps to 2 Mbps, and is intended to support applications such as web browsing and photo sharing

    • Includes EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) (amongst other approaches)

    • 3G allows a single telephone to roam across the world

  • 4G and 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution)

    • Began around 2008

    • Incompatible with 2G and 3G networks and must be implemented separatedly.

    • Based on GSM/EDGE

    • Focuses on support for real-time multimedia

      • such as a television program or high-speed video

    • They include multiple connection technologies

      • such as Wi-Fi and satellite

      • at any time, the phone automatically chooses the best connection technology available


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