Murray Hill, N.J.--June 27, 1997--Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, N.J.) announced its full support for IEEE 802.11, a standard for wireless LANs that will allow products from different wireless LAN vendors to work together. The new standard, ratified by the IEEE Standards Activity Board on June 26, 1997, is expected to provide a significant boost for the wireless LAN industry by providing a stable platform for new product development that makes LAN users more comfortable with the technology and drives costs down.
Lucent has participated in the development of IEEE 802.11 since its inception in 1990, with Vic Hayes of Lucent Technologies' Wireless Communications and Networking Division chairing the 802.11 committee since its establishment.
802.11 defines both the Physical (PHY) and Medium Access Control (MAC) protocols for wireless LANs. The PHY specification encompasses three transmission options: one infrared option and two RF options (Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum and Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum). These three options enable wireless LANs to satisfy multiple price/performance requirements in a broad range network environments, from a single room to an entire campus.
The MAC protocol, known as Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA), works seamlessly with standard Ethernet, making wired and wireless nodes on an Enterprise LAN logically indistinguishable. This compatibility makes wireless LAN products easy to install, operate, and manage when integrated with a wired LAN. Many advanced features are incorporated into the MAC protocol, such as roaming and power management.
Anticipating adoption of 802.11, Lucent Technologies has adopted a three-pronged strategy to help its customers migrate smoothly from existing WaveLAN products to the industry standard and beyond. The first prong was to develop a modular wireless bridge architecture with dual PCMCIA interfaces that could be upgraded to support the new IEEE standard by simply swapping PCMCIA cards. The second prong was to deploy the Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) modulation scheme and CSMA/CA MAC protocol that formed the basis of the proposed IEEE specification.
The final prong, which is ongoing, has been to propose a new standard for multivendor interoperability that goes beyond the scope of the IEEE standard. Dubbed the Inter Access Point Protocol (IAPP), the proposed standard establishes protocols that facilitate roaming across access points from multiple vendors. The IEEE 802.11 standard also defines roaming, but only across access points from the same vendor.
Murray Hill, NJ
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