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2013-2014

DELENNE Vivien - LiU


Linkping University
2013-2014
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Table of Contents
I) Presentation .................................................................... 1
1) Definition ............................................................................................... 1
2) Characteristics ........................................................................................ 1
3) Type of LAN ............................................................................................ 2
a) The Ad Hoc mode ...................................................................................................... 3
b) The infrastructure mode ............................................................................................ 3
II) Technical information on the low layer............................. 5
1) The physical layer ................................................................................... 5
a) The spread spectrum techniques ............................................................................... 5
b) The Infrared Technique ............................................................................................. 7
c) Different types of modulation ................................................................................... 7
2) The Data Link Layer ................................................................................ 9
a) The sub-layer MAC and LLC ....................................................................................... 9
i) The CSMA/CA access method.......................................................................................................... 9
ii) The PCF mode ................................................................................................................................ 10
b) Error Control ............................................................................................................ 10
c) Format and type of frames ...................................................................................... 10
III) References ..................................................................... 12
1) Webpages ............................................................................................ 12
2) Bibliography ......................................................................................... 13







Table of Acronym
AP Access Point
BPSK Binary Phase Shift Keying
BSSID Basic Service Set Identifier
CDMA Code Division Multiple Access
CCK Complementary Code Keying
CF Contention Free
CRC Cyclic Redundancy Code
CSMA/CA Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance
CSMA/CD Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detect
CTS Clear To Send
DIFS Distributed Inter Frame Space
DQPSK Differential Quadrature Phase Shift Keying
DS Direct Sequence
DSSS Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum
ESS Extended Service Set
ESSID Extended Service Set Identifier
FCS Frame Check Sequence
FH Frequency Hopping
FHSS Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum
IBSS Independent Basic Service Set
IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
LAN Local Area Network
LLC Logical Link Control
MAC Medium Access Control
MSDU MAC Service Data Unit
MMPDU MAC Management Protocol Data Units
OFDM Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing
OSI Open Systems Interconnection
PBCC Packet Binary Convolutional Coding
PHY Physical Layer
PIFS PCF Inter Frame Space
PPM Pulse Position Modulation
QPSK Quadrature Phase Shift Keying
RTS Request To Send
SSID Service Set Identifier
STA Station
WLAN Wireless Local Area Network



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I) Presentation

1) Definition

WLAN is an abbreviation for Wireless Local Area Network and a type of local area network. It allows a set of
hardware electronics (scanners, printers, computer, etc.) to be connected to each other for a data sharing purpose.
[10]
It uses high frequency radio waves to communicate between devices. As its definition, this is a local area network so
the range of its waves is limited to a small area. This is the difference between the LAN, and the others networks; for
example both MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) and WAN (Wide Area Network) have a larger range of
communication. [10], [16]

However WLAN allows for systems, via radio waves, to connect to each other. The only requirement is that the
devices are within the communication range of the WLAN transmitter.
WLANs are based on IEEE 802.11 standards or better known as WI-FI. The following chapter will go through the
characteristics of these standards. [10]

2) Characteristics

As shown by the characteristics of each standard, it appears that he range is very limited. Indeed the range of a
WLAN is about 100 meters with a maximum rate of 54 Mbps. [1], [18]
In fact the 802.11 standards initially only offered a data rate of 1-2 Mbps but some protocol upgrades were
performed to increase the data rate and upgrade the security system. [1], [11], [18]
Below are the three main versions of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) 802.11 standards:
- IEEE 802.11a : Radio frequency spectral of 5Ghz with a maximum rate of 54 Mbps
- IEEE 802.11b : Radio frequency spectral of 2.4Ghz with a maximum rate of 11 Mbps
- IEEE 802.11g : Radio frequency spectral of 2.4Ghz with a maximum rate of 54 Mbps
These versions are referred to as 802.11 physical standards. They are able to communicate data at a rate correlating
to the distance from the transmitter. Several characteristics of these standards, and a selection of other popular
protocols, can be noted in the tables below: [1], [11], [18]
IEEE 802.11b IEEE 802.11a IEEE 802.11g
Frequency Band 2.4 GHz Band 5GHz Band 2.4GHz
Technology DSSS OFDM OFDM
Maximum Rate 11 Mbit/s 54 Mbit/s 54 Mbit/s
Effective Rate About 6 Mbit/s About 30 Mbit/s About 16 Mbit/s
Range From 100 to 500 m From 10 to 100 m From 100 to 400 m


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HiperLAN 2 BlueTooth ZigBee
Frequency Band 5 GHz Band 2.4 GHz
Band 2.4GHz + Band
868+902-928 Mhz
Technology OFDM FHSS DSSS
Maximum Rate 54 Mbit/s 1 to 3 Mbit/s 20 kbit/s to 250 kbit/s
Effective Rate About 35 Mbit/s 0.7 to 2 Mbit/s 20 kbit/s
Range Maximum 150 m From 10 to 100 m Maximum 10 m

Figure 1 Table of different standards [1]
The frequency is the band used by the standard, meaning that the frequency is used to deliver and obtain data.
There are three types of modulation, FHSS (Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum), DSSS (Direct Spread Spectrum)
and the OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing).These will be further discussed later.
The maximum rate is the theoretical maximum data rate that the standard can achieve and the effective rate is the
real rate. The range sets the physical range from where we achieve the maximum data rate and the radius of where
the connection will be lost. [1], [18], [B2, Chapter 6 p 330]
- The 802.11a standard offers a data rate of 54 Mbps, which is five times more than the 802.11b standard
with a range of 100 m. It uses OFDM coding on the frequency 5GHz and uses 8 channels without recovering.
- The 802.11b standard allows to obtain a data rate of 11 Mbps within a range of 500 m. It use the band 2.4
GHz.
- The 802.11g can reach a data rate of 54 Mbps within a range which is almost the same as the 802.11b and
also use the 2.4 GHz band frequency.

3) Type of LAN

There are two types of Wireless LANs both based on different technologies.
The first one is the ad hoc mode, in this kind of operation the data transmits
directly by peer-to-peer without any kind of bridge. The second is the
Infrastructure mode, in this case the mobile units communicate using an
Access Point as a bridge. This second mode is generally used by default in
the 802.11b card. [10]


Figure 2 - P2P [2]




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a) The Ad Hoc mode

In Ad-Hoc mode every machine play the role of client and of access point at the same time.
An IBSS (Independent Basic Service Set) is a wireless network made by at least 2 stations without using an access
point. So the IBSS establishes a temporary network where everybody in that area can exchange data. It is identified
by a SSID (Service Set Identifier) which is a readable string. This string is between 1 and 32 bytes and acts as a sort of
name for the network. In the case of an IBSS, the client who initiates
the network chooses the SSID.
The range of the IBSS is determined by the range of each station. In
other words, a machine needs to be within the IBSSs range in order to
communicate. [10], [19], [B2, Chapter 6, p 332]




Figure 3 IBSS [3]


b) The infrastructure mode

In this case, the station computer called STA (Station), is connected to an AP, for instance via a wireless network.
Like the ad hoc mode, there is a network made by this AP called the BSS (Basic Service Set) and acts as a cell. Each
BSS is defined by a BSSID (Basic Service Set Identifier), composed by six bytes and in that mode the BSSID is the MAC
address of the AP. [10], [12], [19], [B2, Chapter 6, p
333]
Its possible to connect two AP together to build an
ESS (Extended Service Set). The link between the two
AP can be made by a DS (Distribution System). The
DS can be a cable or a wireless network. [12], [19],
[B2, Chapter 6, p 333]
Each ESS is defined by an ESSID (Extended Service
Set Identifier) which is a string of 32 characters.
Thus, the station needs this identifier to connect to
the network, this adds a layer of security. [12], [19],
[B2, Chapter 6, p 333-334]

Figure 4 - ESS and DS [4]



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If a user moves in the area of the ESS, he can change AP automatically with the help of the DS. The DS find the AP
with the most powerful signal. This is made possible by the APs communication with each other through the DS.
When a station gets in a cell it sends a probe request on every channel. This requests contains the ESSID for which it
is configured. And if no ESSID was attached, the station will look for a SSID.
Each AP regularly sends a beacon which gives information about its BSSID.
Upon reception of each probe, the AP checks the ESSID. If it matches the AP sends an answer with some of its
characteristics (data synchronization, load, etc.). The station which receives the message can check the quality of the
signal sent by the AP.
Thus, a station which is in the area of several AP, with the same SSID, could choose the best one with the best rate.
[12], [19], [B2, Chapter 6, p 333-332]





















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II) Technical information on the low layer


The Wi-Fi standard defines the lower layer of the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) model. The OSI model is
composed of seven layer and is divided into two parts:

In this report, we will mainly discuss the Physical (PHY for short)
layer and Data Link layer which is split into two sub-layers the LLC
(Logical Link Control) and the MAC (Medium Access Control).
The PHY layer defines the waves modulation and how the data is
converted into a signal, while the Data Link layer allows data
transfer between the physical layer and the data layer. [14], [18]





Figure 5 - 7 layer OSI model [5]

1) The physical layer

In this part we are going to see how the signal is modulated to be sent as securely as possible.
Originally, the narrow band technique was used, which consists in using a specific radio frequency for data
transmission and reception besides in this kind of modulation the bandwidth frequency had to be as small as
possible to limit the interference.
The problem is that with this kind of modulation there are several limitations (interference, the share of the pass
band, energy cost ) which makes it unsuitable for this transmission.
Nevertheless the 802.11 standard propose three different techniques to limit the interference. [7], [B1, Chapter 4, p
124]
a) The spread spectrum techniques

There are two different techniques for creating a spread spectrum, both using a large band frequency to transmit
data with low power.
The first modulation is the FHSS (Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum) which aims at cutting the transmission in at
least 75 channels (hops) with a width of 1 MHz each. It then transmits this signal with a channel-combination known
by all the devices.
In the 802.11 standards, the bandwidth frequency allow to create 79 channels each of 1 MHz. Thus the transmission
is done by successively sending signals on each channel, one after the other, for a short period time (about 400 ms).
[7], [B1, Chapter 4, p 124-125], [B3, Part 14]
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Figure 6 -FHSS Pattern [6]
The figure above shows the bandwidth allocated and the different hops which are defined by different channels (1,
2, 3, 4, etc.).
This transmission is perfect for reducing interference, but keeps the problem of restricted data rate due to the small
bandwidth allocated. In fact, in 802.11 standard, a channel with a 1 MHz bandwidth allows a data rate of 1 Mbps,
which is qualified as Basic Rate. But by doubling the bauds number, the data rate can reach 2Mbps. Besides, the
hops and the synchronization are very consuming. [7], [B1, Chapter 4, p 124-125], [B3, Part 14]

The second modulation using the spread spectrum is the DSSS (Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum), it offers a better
data rate and it uses the band frequency 2. 4GHz and 5 GHz.
The spreading of the spectrum is obtained by quick states transitions, call the chipping. A sequence of bit which is
represented by just one bit, a chip, is sent. For instance, a 0 can be the sequence 11010 and the 1 the sequence
00101 (its complement).
In this way, due to the chipping, even if its not the main purpose of this modulation, the DSSS allows an error
control. Even if for example, the sequence receive is 00011 (instead of 11010 or 00101), due to the noise, is still
closer to 00101 than 11010. So even if 2 bits changed, the receptor could still recognize a 1 instead of a 0. This is a
very good asset in radio communication. [7], [B1, Chapter 4, p 127-130], [B3, Part 16]

A first characteristic of the DSSS is the length of its chip : the longer the chip, the more the rate is multiplied. The
second characteristic is the channel width. In fact it is based on Nyquist-Shannons theorem which says that the
sample frequency must be at least twice the sample frequency of the numerated signal.
Thus, in 802.11 standard, for a data rate of 11 Mbps and a good transmission, the channel should have a size of at
least 22 MHz.
For instance, to spread the signal by chipping, the band from 2.4 GHz to 2.4835 GHz was divided in 14 channels of 22
MHz each. Nevertheless the space between two canals is 5 MHz, so there is a kind of recovery spectrum because we
have to use 22 MHz. It is thus necessary to space out the channel by 5 units (because 5x5 equal to 25). The
international choice was to take the canal 1, 6
and 11, to avoid the recovery spectrum. [15],
[7], [B1, Chapter 4, p 127-130], [B3, Part 16]
F
Figure 7 - Channel 1, 6 and 11 [B1, Chapter 4, p130]
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The 802.11 standard uses 11 characters to define a bit. The spread code is characterized by the Barker sequence,
which is 10110111000. This code is applied by a XOR computation to the transmit bit. Thus the 0 is encoded as
10110111000 and the 1 by its inverse 01001000111. [7], [B1, Chapter 4, p 136]






Figure 8 - Barker encodage for DSSS [B1, Chapter 4, p 136]


b) The Infrared Technique

There is an alternative to the radio wave communication: infrared light. The technology infrared uses a light wave for
the data transmission. Thus the transmissions are uni-directional, either "direct view" or reflection and non-
dissipative character offer a high level of security.
The maximal range, where the Infrared is still able to communicate, is about 20m and it is only used in indoor
environment. Nevertheless if the environment doesnt offer reflecting surface and line-of-sight, the Infrared range
will be reduced. [7], [B3, Part 15]



c) Different types of modulation


With the he Infrared technique seen above it is possible to get a data rate of 1 or 2 Mbps by using the PPM (Pulse
Position Modulation).
The aim of this modulation is to send different pulse with the same magnitude and to code the information following
the position of the pulse. The data rate of 1 Mbps is obtained with a 16-PPM and which of 2 Mbps with a 4-PPM
because it allows to code 2 bits with 4 positions. [7]

For the radio communication, the standard 802.11b uses a modulation phase called PSK (Phase Shift Keying). Thus
each bit implies a rotation phase, 180 for a BPSK (Binary Phase Shift Keying) and four rotation of 90 for a QPSK
(Quadrature Phase Shift Keying). The QPSK allows twice the data rate as the one of a BPSK. [7]




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There are also other kind of modulations to optimize the data rate:
- The CCK (Complementary Code Keying) method which is based on the DSSS modulation. The Barker
sequence is very efficient in terms of resistance to interference but the point is that it only uses 2 level of
the 2048 (2^11) possible on 11 bits.
The CCK defines a symbol of 8 bits instead of 11 and has 64 chipping sequences. So the CCK allows shorter,
and more, chipping sequence.
Thus in using the CCK technique to code 8 bits per chip, the data rate can increase to 11 Mbps whereas if we
encoded 4 bits per chips the data rate would be 5.5 Mbps.
These two kind of modulation involve the QPSK modulation. [7], [21], [B2, Chapter 6, p 330], [B1, Chapter 4,
p 136-137], [B3, Part 17]

- The OFDM technology, or Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing, is a kind of high rate wireless
transmission technology. It works on the standard 802.11a and operates in the frequency band of 5 GHz,
which offer 8 distinct channels. It is able to communicate with obstacles from transmitter to receiver. The
OFDM solves the problem of the alignment of transmitter-receiver. To get a very high rate we need to have
a perfect alignment of the transmitter and receiver, but in reality this is rarely the case.
Its operation is that the system send a signal on different frequencies in the same time, to limit the problem
of a frequency touching an obstacle, just one signal on one frequency is enough for the receiver to describe
the message sent, even if it is weak.
In that technology different kind of modulation are used, like BPSK, QPSK, 16-QAM and 64-QAM. Using the
modulation 64-QAM the data rate can reach 54 Mbps. [13], [17], [7]

- The PBCC (Packet Binary Convolutionnary Code) technology which allow to make a better signal concerning
the distortions due to the multiple tracking of radio waves.
The point is that if the output of the binary convolutional is mapped to a constellation, then 2 different rates
can be reach. With BPSK modulation the rate is 5.5 Mbps and using QPSK the rate go up to 11 Mbps
Nevertheless, Texas Instrument industry found a new technology which increases the rate to 22 Mbps : this
technology is called 802.11b+. [7], [B3, Part 17, p 1570]


Summary of these modulation and technology:
Technology Coding Type of modulation Data rate
802.11b 11 bits (Barker Sequence) PSK 1 Mbps
802.11b 11 bits (Barker Sequence) QPSK 2 Mbps
802.11b CCK (4 bits) QPSK 5.5 Mbps
802.11b CCK (8 bits) QPSK 11 Mbps
802.11a CCK (8 bits) 64QAM with OFDM 54 Mbps
802.11g CCK (8 bits) 64QAM with OFDM 54 Mbps

Figure 9 - Kind of coding and modulation [7]



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2) The Data Link Layer

In this layer there are two different sub-layers, the MAC and the LLC.
a) The sub-layer MAC and LLC

The layer MAC defines two methods of access: the CSMA/CA using the Distributed Coordination Function (DCF for
short) and the PCF (Point Coordination Function). [20]
i) The CSMA/CA access method

In an Ethernet local network, the access method used by the machines is the CSMA/CD (Carrier Sense Multiple
Access with Collision Detect), where each machine is free to communicate at any moment. To send its own message,
each machine simply needs to check if another machine has sent a message at the same moment. If this is the case,
the two machines have to wait for a random time before sending their message again. [20]
It is impossible to use this method in a wireless network because two station which communicate with the same
receptor can be out of range of each other.
Thus the standard 802.11 propose a similar
protocol called CSMA/CA (Carrier Sense Multiple
Access with Collision Avoidance). [20], [B1,
Chapter 5, p 151-152]

The operating principle of the CSMA/CA protocol
is based on a collision avoidance mechanism
which uses mutual receptions between the
transmitter and the receiver.
The principle is simple: the station which wants
to transmit listens to the network. If the network
is saturated, the transmission has to wait. In the
other case, if it is possible to send data during a
given time, called DIFS (Distributed Inter Frame
Space), the station can emit. [8], [20], [B1,
Chapter 5, p 152-154]

Figure 10 - The CSMA/CA protocol [8]

It transmits a message called RTS (Request To Send), which contains information about the data volume to emit and
the data transmission needed by the station. This message includes an expected period of time required for
transmission. To begin the data emission, the receptor, frequently an AP, responds a Clear to Send (CTS for short).
Upon receipt the message, the station can emit the data. [20], [8]

When the receptor has received all the data, it sends a reception, to the station, called ACK (Acknowledgment).
During each step the station has to wait during a time period call SIFS.
During this time, the neighboring station has to wait a reasonable time to send the data volume at the data rate
needed. [8] [B1, Chapter 5, p 154-155]
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Figure 11- SIFS Time [B1, Chapter 5, p 154]


ii) The PCF mode

The previous method is not deterministic, indeed, a station cannot predict when it could take the network. This
mode, the PCF, allow to go through this inconvenient.
The PCF needs an AP to operate which holds the role of coordinator.
To avoid the collisions the coordinator distribute alternately the words to the associated stations. This operating
centralized by interrogation, called polling, is qualified of CF (Contention Free).
The allocation of speaking time to a client, is distributed by a control frame called CF-Poll. If the station wants to
exploit this period of time, it sends back a frame call CF-ACK. Otherwise, at the end of a time called PIFS (PCF Inter
Frame Space) the distribution go on.
This period of time, PIFS, can rise to significant value in the case where several station are associated to the network
of the AP.
That is why this kind of operating is used for real time application, like video and voice, which need a managing of
delay during data transmission. [20], [B1, Chapter 5, p 155-156]

b) Error Control

The MAC layer manages itself with an error control mechanism which allows to check the integrity of the frames.
This is clearly a difference with the standard Ethernet, which doesnt offer any system detection or error correction.
It was inserted directly on the MAC layer because there are more errors in Wireless network. [20], [B1, Chapter 5, p
169]
This error correction has the same operating principle than the error control on the PHY layer, with a computes cyclic
redundancy code (CRC for short), on 32 bits.
Thus the polynomial used for this is of degree 32 and is equal to: 10000010011000001001110110110111. [20], [B1,
Chapter 5, p 169]
Furthermore the error rate on wireless network increase with the size of the frames, which is why the 802.11
standard offer a fragmentation mechanism which splits a frame in several parts. [20], [B1, Chapter 5, p 169]

c) Format and type of frames

The 802.11 standard defines 3 types of frames of MAC layer: management, control and data.
The first one is used to authenticate devices and their implementation into the network. The control frame is in
charge of data sharing and the data transportation from the upper layer is achieved by data frames.
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In general cases, these frames are called MAC Service Data Unit (MSDU for short). The management frames have a
specific name, which is MMPDU (MAC Management Protocol Data Unit). [B1, Chapter 5, p 148-149]
Besides the frame type, there is also the frame format defined by the 802.11 standard.
Each frame is constituted by a MAC header, with a size of 30 bytes, a body and by an FCS (Frame Check Sequence)
which allows for the error correction. [20]












Figure 12 MAC Header [9]

Let us have some explanations for these different fields: [20]
- The Frame Control (FC for short) is composed of 11 others information.
- Duration/ID indicate the duration of using the transmission channel.
- The address fields, a frame can contain up to 3 address in addition to the 48 bits address.
- The field Sequence Control which allows the differentiation of divers fragments of the same frame. It is
composed of 2 others sub-fields: the number of the sequence and that of the fragment.
- The FCS which is different kind of error control to check the all frame.







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III) References

The [x] refers to a review or a webpage and [Bx] to a book.

1) Webpages

[1] http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%A9seau_sans_fil
2014-04-17
[2] https://www.its.hku.hk/news/ccnews125/p2p.htm
2014-04-17
[3] http://perso.crans.org/raffo/papers/phdthesis/thesisch1.html
2014-04-17
[4] http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457015.aspx
2014-04-17
[5] http://www.bpsharma.in/eLearning/Networking/OSI_Reference_Model.htm
2014-04-17
[6] http://www.data-linc.com/articles/spsptech.htm
2014-04-17
[7] http://www.commentcamarche.net/contents/1285-transmission-de-donnees-dans-les-reseaux-sans-fils
2014-04-17
[8] http://www.hill2dot0.com/wiki/index.php?title=Carrier_sense_multiple_access
2014-04-17
[9] https://wilder.hq.sk/CVTSS/foil02.html
2014-04-17
[10] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_LAN
2014-04-17
[11] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11
2014-04-17
[12] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_Basic_Service_Set#Service_set_identification_.28SSID.29
2014-04-17
[13] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthogonal_frequency-division_multiplexing
2014-04-17
[14] http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mod%C3%A8le_OSI
2014-04-17
[15] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyquist%E2%80%93Shannon_sampling_theorem
2014-04-17
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[16] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_network
2014-04-17
[17] http://guide-wifi.blogspot.se/2004/01/la-transmission-par-onde-wifi.html
2014-04-17
[18] http://www.commentcamarche.net/contents/1280-wifi-portee-et-debit
2014-04-17
[19] http://en.kioskea.net/contents/804-wifi-modes-of-operation-802-11-or-wi-fi
2014-04-17
[20] http://www.commentcamarche.net/contents/1281-la-couche-liaison-wi-fi-802-11-ou-wifi
2014-04-17
[21] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complementary_code_keying
2014-04-17

2) Bibliography

[B1] Philippe Atelin. Wi-Fi : rseaux sans fil 802.11. Edition Eni. August 2008
[B2] Andr Vaucamps. CISCO : notions de base sur les rseaux. Edition Eni. May 2009
[B3] IEEE. International Standard ISO/IEC/IEEE 8802.11. Edition 2011-2012