Wireless LAN

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This article is about the wireless transmission method. For the FM radio station, see WLAN-FM

A wireless local area network (WLAN) links two or more devices using some wireless distribution method (typically spread-spectrum or OFDM radio), and usually providing a connection through an access point to the wider internet. This gives users the mobility to move around within a local coverage area and still be connected to the network.

Wireless LANs have become popular in the home due to ease of installation, and the increasing popularity of laptop computers. Public businesses such as coffee shops and malls have begun to offer wireless access to their customers; sometimes for free. Large wireless network projects are being put up in many major cities: New York City, for instance, has begun a pilot program to cover all five boroughs of the city with wireless Internet access.[1]

Contents

History

In 1970 Norman Abramson, a professor at the University of Hawaii, developed the world’s first wireless computer communication network, ALOHAnet, using low-cost ham-like radios. The system included seven computers deployed over four islands to communicate with the central computer on the Oahu Island without using phone lines.[2]

"In 1979, F.R. Gfeller and U. Bapst published a paper in the IEEE Proceedings reporting an experimental wireless local area network using diffused infrared communications. Shortly thereafter, in 1980, P. Ferrert reported on an experimental application of a single code spread spectrum radio for wireless terminal communications in the IEEE National Telecommunications Conference. In 1984, a comparison between infrared and CDMA spread spectrum communications for wireless office information networks was published by Kaveh Pahlavan in IEEE Computer Networking Symposium which appeared later in the IEEE Communication Society Magazine. In May 1985, the efforts of Marcus led the FCC to announce experimental ISM bands for commercial application of spread spectrum technology. Later on, M. Kavehrad reported on an experimental wireless PBX system using code division multiple access. These efforts prompted significant industrial activities in the development of a new generation of wireless local area networks and it updated several old discussions in the portable and mobile radio industry.

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