Wireless LANs

Jim Geier  
Sams Publishing
Total pages
July 2001
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This book examines and assesses recently adopted emerging wireless LAN (Local Area Network) and PAN (Personal Area Network) technologies and standards.

Table of Contents


Audience. The Organization of This Book. Updates to This Book Compared to the First Edition.


1. Introduction to Wireless Networks.

Wireless LAN Benefits. Wireless LAN Applications. Wireless LAN Technologies. Wireless LAN Implications. Wireless LANs: A Historical Perspective.

2. Wireless Network Configurations.

Wireless LAN Architecture. Wireless LAN Components and Systems. Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks.

3. Overview of the IEEE 802.11 Standard.

The Importance of Standards. The IEEE 802 LAN Standards Family. Introduction to the IEEE 802.11 Standard. IEEE 802.11 Topology. IEEE 802.11 Logical Architecture. IEEE 802.11 Services.


4. IEEE 802.11 Medium Access Control (MAC) Layer.

IEEE 802.11 MAC Layer Operations. MAC Frame Structure. MAC Frame Types.

5. IEEE 802.11 Physical (PHY) Layer.

Physical Layer Architecture. Physical Layer Operations. IEEE 802.11 Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) Physical Layer. IEEE 802.11 Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) Physical Layer. IEEE 802.11 High Rate Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (HR-DSSS) Physical Layer. IEEE 802.11 Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) Physical Layer. IEEE 802.11 Infrared (IR) Physical Layer.


6. Wireless System Integration.

Wireless System Architecture. Network Distribution Systems. Roaming Protocols. Communications Protocols. Connectivity Software.

7. Planning a Wireless LAN.

Managing a Wireless LAN Implementation. Requirements Analysis Steps. Types of Wireless LAN Requirements. Questions for Defining Wireless LAN Requirements. Analyzing the Feasibility of a Wireless LAN.

8. Implementing a Wireless LAN.

Designing a Wireless LAN. Preparing for Operational Support of a Wireless LAN. Installing a Wireless LAN. Summary.



Back Cover

This book provides the following benefits to readers:

  • Ability to select the most effective wireless LAN type from a wide assortment of recent and emerging standards.
  • Independent assessment of competing wireless LAN technologies.
  • More efficient design and operational support of wireless LANs because of an understanding of wireless LAN protocol operations and frame structures.
  • Definition of typical requirements and technology assessment parameters, providing a basis for evaluating wireless LANs.
  • Vision of the future of wireless LANs.
  • Real-world experiences through case studies and implementation tips located throughout the book.
  • Quick overview of the features, pros, and cons of each of the wireless LAN standards located at the beginning of each chapter.


Jim Geier is an independent consultant, assisting companies with the development of wireless network products and integration of wireless networks into corporate information systems. He is the principal consultant of his consulting firm, Wireless-Nets, Ltd.

Jim's 20 years of experience deals with the analysis, design, software development, installation, and support of numerous client/server and wireless network-based systems for retail, manufacturing, warehousing, health-care, education, and airline industries throughout the world. Jim is the author of three other books: Wireless LANs (1999, MTP), Wireless Networking Handbook (1996, New Riders), and Network Reengineering (1996,McGraw-Hill), as well as numerous articles for publications such as Network World and Communications System Design. Jim also speaks regularly at seminars, conferences, and trade shows in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Jim has served as chairman of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society, Dayton Section, and as chairman of the IEEE International Conference on Wireless LAN Implementation. He also was an active member of the IEEE 802.11 Working Group, responsible for developing international standards for wireless LANs. His education includes a bachelor's and master's degree in electrical engineering (with emphasis in computer networking and software development), and a master's degree in business administration.

As part of his Web site (http://www.wireless-nets.com), Jim maintains the Online Guide to Wireless Networking, which includes many of his articles and links to other sites. He is the editor of the monthly Wireless-Nets Newsletter, which is available free on his Web site at http://www.wireless-nets.com/newsletter.htm

You can reach Jim via e-mail at jimgeier@wireless-nets.com

D. Ed Lamprecht is a manager of the Professional Services Group at Monarch Marking Systems which focuses on custom software and network solutions. He has more than 17 years of programming experience in applications, operating systems, and network programming. He received a bachelor's degree in 1983 from the University of Northern Iowa and started his career with NCR Corporation programming operating systems in assembly for retail computing systems. It was during this time that Ed also developed applications for other platforms, including UNIX and DOS.

In 1988, Ed joined Monarch Marking Systems, a company specializing in bar code printers and labels. Here he developed bar code applications for MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows as early as version 2.0, including PC drivers, TSRs, and connectivity software. Since 1996, Ed has been involved in data collection systems providing wireless network connectivity solutions of handheld printers and data collection terminals for retail, industrial, manufacturing, and health care markets.

At Monarch, Ed has developed client/server applications, visited customer sites for analysis and problem solving, and provided international training on products and wireless connectivity. Ed holds seven patents in bar code software and handheld printer/data collectors. He lives with his wife, Michelle, and his son, Colin, in Dayton, Ohio. When not tinkering with PCs and networks at home, he enjoys model railroading, railroad memorabilia collecting, golfing, traveling, and spending time with his family.