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introduction to wireless LAN
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Executive Summary

This document introduces the benefits, uses and basic technologies of wireless LANs (WLANs). A WLAN is an on-premise data communication system that reduces the need for wired connections and makes new applications possible, thereby adding new flexibility to networking. Mobile WLAN users can access information and network resources as they attend meetings, collaborate with other users, or move to other campus locations. But the benefits of WLANs extend beyond user mobility and productivity to enable portable LANs. With WLANs, the network itself is movable. WLANs have proven their effectiveness in vertical markets and are now experiencing broader applicability in a wide range of business settings. This document describes the business benefits and applications of WLANs and explains how WLANs differ from other wireless technologies. It explains the basic components and technologies of WLANs and how they work together. It explores the factors that customers must consider when evaluating WLANs for their business applications needs. Finally, it introduces the Wireless LAN Alliance (WLANA), a non-profit consortium of wireless LAN vendors that provides ongoing education about specific applications, current technologies, and future directions of wireless LANs.

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