Wireless LAN History
Wireless Local Networks


Wikipedia:Wireless LAN

A wireless LAN or WLANis a wireless local area network,which is the linking of two or more computers without using wires. WLANutilizes spread-spectrum or OFDM(802.11a) modulation technology based on radio wavesto enable communication between devices in a limited area, also knownas the basic service set. This gives users the mobility to move aroundwithin a broad coverage area and still be connected to the network.

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WirelessLAN Resource

History of WLAN

In1970 University of Hawaii,under the leadership of Norman Abramson, developedthe world’s first computer communication network usinglow-cost ham-like radios, named ALOHAnet.The bi-directional star topology of the system included seven computersdeployed over four islands to communicate with the central computer onthe Oahu Island without using phone lines.[3]

"In1979, F.R. Gfeller and U. Bapst published a paper in the IEEEProceedings reporting an experimental wireless local area network usingdiffused infrared communications. Shortlythereafter, in 1980, P. Ferrert reported on an experimental applicationof a single code spread spectrumradio for wireless terminal communications in the IEEE NationalTelecommunications Conference. In 1984, a comparison between Infraredand CDMA spread spectrum communications for wireless office informationnetworks was published by [ Kaveh Pahlavan] in IEEE Computer Networking Symposium which appeared later in theIEEE Communication Society Magazine. In May 1985, the efforts of Marcusled the FCC to announce experimental ISM bands for commercialapplication of spread spectrum technology. Later on, M. Kavehradreported on an experimental wireless PBX system using code divisionmultiple access. These efforts prompted significant industrialactivities in the development of a new generation of wireless localarea networks and it updated several old discussions in the portableand mobile radio industry.

Thefirst generation of wireless data modems was developed in theearly 1980's by amateur communication groups. They added a voice banddata communication modem, with data rates below 9600 bit/s, to anexisting short distance radio system such as a walkie talkie. Thesecond generation of wireless modems was developed immediately afterthe FCC announcement in the experimental bands for non-military use ofthe spread spectrum technology. These modems provided data rates on theorder of hundreds of kbit/s. The third generation of wireless modem[then] aimed at compatibility with the existing LANs with data rates onthe order of Mbit/s. Several companies [developed] the third generationproducts with data rates above 1 Mbit/s and a couple of products [had]already been announced [by the time of the first IEEE Workshop onWireless LANs]."[4]

Wireless LAN Resource

"Thefirst of the IEEE Workshops onWireless LAN was held in 1991. At that time early wirelessLAN products had just appeared in the market and the IEEE 802.11committee had just started its activities to develop a standard forwireless LANs. The focus of that first workshop was evaluation of thealternative technologies. [By 1996], the technology [was] relativelymature, a variety of applications [had] been identified and addressedand technologies that enable these applications [were] well understood.Chip sets aimed at wireless LAN implementations and applications, a keyenabling technology for rapid market growth, [were] emerging in themarket. Wireless LANs [were being] used in hospitals, stock exchanges,and other in building and campus settings for nomadic access,point-to-point LAN bridges, ad-hoc networking, and evenlarger applications through internetworking. The IEEE 802.11 standard andvariants and alternatives, such as the wireless LAN interoperabilityforum and the European HIPERLANspecification [had] made rapid progress, and the unlicensed PCS [ UnlicensedPersonal Communications Services ] and the proposed SUPERNet[,later on renamed as UNII, ] bands also presented newopportunities." [5]

On July21, 1999, AirPortdebuted at the Macworld Expo in New York City with Steve Jobs picking up an iBooksupposedly to give the cameraman a better shot as he surfed the Web.Applause quickly built as people realized there were no wires. This wasthe first time Wireless LAN became publicly available at consumerpricing and easily available for home use. Before the release of theAirport, Wireless LAN was too expensive for consumer use and usedexclusively in large corporate settings.

OriginallyWLAN hardware was so expensive that it was only used asan alternative to cabled LAN in places where cabling was difficult orimpossible. Early development included industry-specific solutions andproprietary protocols, but at the end of the 1990s these were replacedby standards, primarily the various versions of IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi).An alternative ATM-like 5 GHzstandardized technology, HIPERLAN,has so far not succeeded in the market, and with the release of thefaster 54 Mbit/s 802.11a (5 GHz) and 802.11g(2.4 GHz) standards, almost certainly never will.

InNovember 2006, the Australian CommonwealthScientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) won alegal battle in the US federal court of Texas against Buffalo Technologywhich found the US manufacturer had failed to pay royalties on a USWLAN patent CSIRO had filed in 1996. CSIRO are currently engaged inlegal cases with computer companies including Microsoft,Intel,Dell,Hewlett-Packard and Netgearwhich argue that the patent is invalid and should negate any royaltiespaid to CSIRO for WLAN-based products.[6]

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