Wireless network

Last updated

Wireless icon Wifi.svg
Wireless icon

A wireless network is a computer network that uses wireless data connections between network nodes. [1]

Contents

Wireless networking is a method by which homes, telecommunications networks and business installations avoid the costly process of introducing cables into a building, or as a connection between various equipment locations. [2] admin telecommunications networks are generally implemented and administered using radio communication. This implementation takes place at the physical level (layer) of the OSI model network structure. [3]

Examples of wireless networks include cell phone networks, wireless local area networks (WLANs), wireless sensor networks, satellite communication networks, and terrestrial microwave networks. [4]

History

Wireless networks

The first professional wireless network was developed under the brand ALOHAnet in 1969 at the University of Hawaii and became operational in June 1971. The first commercial wireless network was the WaveLAN product family, developed by NCR in 1986.

Underlying technology

Advances in MOSFET (MOS transistor) wireless technology enabled the development of digital wireless networks. The wide adoption of RF CMOS (radio frequency CMOS), power MOSFET and LDMOS (lateral diffused MOS) devices led to the development and proliferation of digital wireless networks by the 1990s, with further advances in MOSFET technology leading to increasing bandwidth in the 2000s (Edholm's law). [5] [6] [7] Most of the essential elements of wireless networks are built from MOSFETs, including the mobile transceivers, base station modules, routers, RF power amplifiers, [6] telecommunication circuits, [8] RF circuits, and radio transceivers, [7] in networks such as 2G, 3G, [5] and 4G. [6]

Computers are very often connected to networks using wireless links, e.g. WLANs Wireless network.jpg
Computers are very often connected to networks using wireless links, e.g. WLANs

Types of wireless networks

Wireless PAN

Wireless personal area networks (WPANs) connect devices within a relatively small area, that is generally within a person's reach. [9] For example, both Bluetooth radio and invisible infrared light provides a WPAN for interconnecting a headset to a laptop. ZigBee also supports WPAN applications. [10] Wi-Fi PANs are becoming commonplace (2010) as equipment designers start to integrate Wi-Fi into a variety of consumer electronic devices. Intel "My WiFi" and Windows 7 "virtual Wi-Fi" capabilities have made Wi-Fi PANs simpler and easier to set up and configure. [11]

Wireless LAN

Wireless LANs are often used for connecting to local resources and to the Internet LAN.png
Wireless LANs are often used for connecting to local resources and to the Internet

A wireless local area network (WLAN) links two or more devices over a short distance using a wireless distribution method, usually providing a connection through an access point for internet access. The use of spread-spectrum or OFDM technologies may allow users to move around within a local coverage area, and still remain connected to the network.

Products using the IEEE 802.11 WLAN standards are marketed under the Wi-Fi brand name . Fixed wireless technology implements point-to-point links between computers or networks at two distant locations, often using dedicated microwave or modulated laser light beams over line of sight paths. It is often used in cities to connect networks in two or more buildings without installing a wired link. To connect to Wi-Fi, sometimes are used devices like a router or connecting HotSpot using mobile smartphones.

Wireless ad hoc network

A wireless ad hoc network, also known as a wireless mesh network or mobile ad hoc network (MANET), is a wireless network made up of radio nodes organized in a mesh topology. Each node forwards messages on behalf of the other nodes and each node performs routing. Ad hoc networks can "self-heal", automatically re-routing around a node that has lost power. Various network layer protocols are needed to realize ad hoc mobile networks, such as Distance Sequenced Distance Vector routing, Associativity-Based Routing, Ad hoc on-demand Distance Vector routing, and Dynamic source routing.

Wireless MAN

Wireless metropolitan area networks are a type of wireless network that connects several wireless LANs.

Wireless WAN

Wireless wide area networks are wireless networks that typically cover large areas, such as between neighbouring towns and cities, or city and suburb. These networks can be used to connect branch offices of business or as a public Internet access system. The wireless connections between access points are usually point to point microwave links using parabolic dishes on the 2.4 GHz and 5.8Ghz band, rather than omnidirectional antennas used with smaller networks. A typical system contains base station gateways, access points and wireless bridging relays. Other configurations are mesh systems where each access point acts as a relay also. When combined with renewable energy systems such as photovoltaic solar panels or wind systems they can be stand alone systems.

Cellular network

Example of frequency reuse factor or pattern 1/4 Frequency reuse.svg
Example of frequency reuse factor or pattern 1/4

A cellular network or mobile network is a radio network distributed over land areas called cells, each served by at least one fixed-location transceiver, known as a cell site or base station. In a cellular network, each cell characteristically uses a different set of radio frequencies from all their immediate neighbouring cells to avoid any interference.

When joined together these cells provide radio coverage over a wide geographic area. This enables a large number of portable transceivers (e.g., mobile phones, pagers, etc.) to communicate with each other and with fixed transceivers and telephones anywhere in the network, via base stations, even if some of the transceivers are moving through more than one cell during transmission.

Although originally intended for cell phones, with the development of smartphones, cellular telephone networks routinely carry data in addition to telephone conversations:

Global area network

A global area network (GAN) is a network used for supporting mobile across an arbitrary number of wireless LANs, satellite coverage areas, etc. The key challenge in mobile communications is handing off user communications from one local coverage area to the next. In IEEE Project 802, this involves a succession of terrestrial wireless LANs. [14]

Space network

Space networks are networks used for communication between spacecraft, usually in the vicinity of the Earth. The example of this is NASA's Space Network.

Uses

Some examples of usage include cellular phones which are part of everyday wireless networks, allowing easy personal communications. Another example, Intercontinental network systems, use radio satellites to communicate across the world. Emergency services such as the police utilize wireless networks to communicate effectively as well. Individuals and businesses use wireless networks to send and share data rapidly, whether it be in a small office building or across the world.

Properties

General

In a general sense, wireless networks offer a vast variety of uses by both business and home users. [15]

"Now, the industry accepts a handful of different wireless technologies. Each wireless technology is defined by a standard that describes unique functions at both the Physical and the Data Link layers of the OSI model. These standards differ in their specified signaling methods, geographic ranges, and frequency usages, among other things. Such differences can make certain technologies better suited to home networks and others better suited to network larger organizations." [15]

Performance

Each standard varies in geographical range, thus making one standard more ideal than the next depending on what it is one is trying to accomplish with a wireless network. [15] The performance of wireless networks satisfies a variety of applications such as voice and video. The use of this technology also gives room for expansions, such as from 2G to 3G and, 4G and 5G technologies, which stand for the fourth and fifth generation of cell phone mobile communications standards. As wireless networking has become commonplace, sophistication increases through configuration of network hardware and software, and greater capacity to send and receive larger amounts of data, faster, is achieved. Now the wireless network has been running on LTE, which is a 4G mobile communication standard. Users of an LTE network should have data speeds that are 10x faster than a 3G network. [16]

Space

Space is another characteristic of wireless networking. Wireless networks offer many advantages when it comes to difficult-to-wire areas trying to communicate such as across a street or river, a warehouse on the other side of the premises or buildings that are physically separated but operate as one. [16] Wireless networks allow for users to designate a certain space which the network will be able to communicate with other devices through that network.

Space is also created in homes as a result of eliminating clutters of wiring. [17] This technology allows for an alternative to installing physical network mediums such as TPs, coaxes, or fiber-optics, which can also be expensive.

Home

For homeowners, wireless technology is an effective option compared to Ethernet for sharing printers, scanners, and high-speed Internet connections. WLANs help save the cost of installation of cable mediums, save time from physical installation, and also creates mobility for devices connected to the network. [17] Wireless networks are simple and require as few as one single wireless access point connected directly to the Internet via a router. [15]

Wireless network elements

The telecommunications network at the physical layer also consists of many interconnected wireline network elements (NEs). These NEs can be stand-alone systems or products that are either supplied by a single manufacturer or are assembled by the service provider (user) or system integrator with parts from several different manufacturers.

Wireless NEs are the products and devices used by a wireless carrier to provide support for the backhaul network as well as a mobile switching center (MSC).

Reliable wireless service depends on the network elements at the physical layer to be protected against all operational environments and applications (see GR-3171, Generic Requirements for Network Elements Used in Wireless Networks – Physical Layer Criteria). [18]

What are especially important are the NEs that are located on the cell tower to the base station (BS) cabinet. The attachment hardware and the positioning of the antenna and associated closures and cables are required to have adequate strength, robustness, corrosion resistance, and resistance against wind, storms, icing, and other weather conditions. Requirements for individual components, such as hardware, cables, connectors, and closures, shall take into consideration the structure to which they are attached.

Difficulties

Interference

Compared to wired systems, wireless networks are frequently subject to electromagnetic interference. This can be caused by other networks or other types of equipment that generate radio waves that are within, or close, to the radio bands used for communication. Interference can degrade the signal or cause the system to fail. [4]

Absorption and reflection

Some materials cause absorption of electromagnetic waves, preventing it from reaching the receiver, in other cases, particularly with metallic or conductive materials reflection occurs. This can cause dead zones where no reception is available. Aluminium foiled thermal isolation in modern homes can easily reduce indoor mobile signals by 10 dB frequently leading to complaints about the bad reception of long-distance rural cell signals.

Multipath fading

In multipath fading two or more different routes taken by the signal, due to reflections, can cause the signal to cancel out at certain locations, and to be stronger in other places (upfade).

Hidden node problem

In a hidden node problem Station A can communicate with Station B. Station C can also communicate with Station B. However, Stations A and C cannot communicate with each other, but their signals can interfere at B. Wifi hidden station problem.svg
In a hidden node problem Station A can communicate with Station B. Station C can also communicate with Station B. However, Stations A and C cannot communicate with each other, but their signals can interfere at B.

The hidden node problem occurs in some types of network when a node is visible from a wireless access point (AP), but not from other nodes communicating with that AP. This leads to difficulties in media access control (collisions).

Exposed terminal node problem

Exposed terminal problem.svg

The exposed terminal problem is when a node on one network is unable to send because of co-channel interference from a node that is on a different network.

Shared resource problem

The wireless spectrum is a limited resource and shared by all nodes in the range of its transmitters. Bandwidth allocation becomes complex with multiple participating users. Often users are not aware that advertised numbers (e.g., for IEEE 802.11 equipment or LTE networks) are not their capacity, but shared with all other users and thus the individual user rate is far lower. With increasing demand, the capacity crunch is more and more likely to happen. User-in-the-loop (UIL) may be an alternative solution to ever upgrading to newer technologies for over-provisioning.

Capacity

Channel

Understanding of SISO, SIMO, MISO and MIMO. Using multiple antennas and transmitting in different frequency channels can reduce fading, and can greatly increase the system capacity. MIMO SIMO MISO SISO explanation without confusion.svg
Understanding of SISO, SIMO, MISO and MIMO. Using multiple antennas and transmitting in different frequency channels can reduce fading, and can greatly increase the system capacity.

Shannon's theorem can describe the maximum data rate of any single wireless link, which relates to the bandwidth in hertz and to the noise on the channel.

One can greatly increase channel capacity by using MIMO techniques, where multiple aerials or multiple frequencies can exploit multiple paths to the receiver to achieve much higher throughput – by a factor of the product of the frequency and aerial diversity at each end.

Under Linux, the Central Regulatory Domain Agent (CRDA) controls the setting of channels. [19]

Network

The total network bandwidth depends on how dispersive the medium is (more dispersive medium generally has better total bandwidth because it minimises interference), how many frequencies are available, how noisy those frequencies are, how many aerials are used and whether a directional antenna is in use, whether nodes employ power control and so on.

Cellular wireless networks generally have good capacity, due to their use of directional aerials, and their ability to reuse radio channels in non-adjacent cells. Additionally, cells can be made very small using low power transmitters this is used in cities to give network capacity that scales linearly with population density. [4]

Safety

Wireless access points are also often close to humans, but the drop off in power over distance is fast, following the inverse-square law. [20] The position of the United Kingdom's Health Protection Agency (HPA) is that “...radio frequency (RF) exposures from WiFi are likely to be lower than those from mobile phones.” It also saw “...no reason why schools and others should not use WiFi equipment.” [21] In October 2007, the HPA launched a new “systematic” study into the effects of WiFi networks on behalf of the UK government, in order to calm fears that had appeared in the media in a recent period up to that time". [22] Dr Michael Clark, of the HPA, says published research on mobile phones and masts does not add up to an indictment of WiFi. [23]

See also

Related Research Articles

IEEE 802.11 Specifications for Wi-FI wireless networks

IEEE 802.11 is part of the IEEE 802 set of local area network (LAN) protocols, and specifies the set of media access control (MAC) and physical layer (PHY) protocols for implementing wireless local area network (WLAN) Wi-Fi computer communication in various frequencies, including but not limited to 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, 6 GHz, and 60 GHz frequency bands.

The ISM radio bands are portions of the radio spectrum reserved internationally for industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) purposes other than telecommunications. Examples of applications for the use of radio frequency (RF) energy in these bands include radio-frequency process heating, microwave ovens, and medical diathermy machines. The powerful emissions of these devices can create electromagnetic interference and disrupt radio communication using the same frequency, so these devices are limited to certain bands of frequencies. In general, communications equipment operating in these bands must tolerate any interference generated by ISM applications, and users have no regulatory protection from ISM device operation.

Wireless LAN Computer network that links devices using wireless communication within a limited area

A wireless LAN (WLAN) is a wireless computer network that links two or more devices using wireless communication to form a local area network (LAN) within a limited area such as a home, school, computer laboratory, campus, or office building. This gives users the ability to move around within the area and remain connected to the network. Through a gateway, a WLAN can also provide a connection to the wider Internet.

Wi-Fi Wireless local area networks technology based on IEEEs 802.11 standards

Wi-Fi is a family of wireless network protocols, based on the IEEE 802.11 family of standards, which are commonly used for local area networking of devices and Internet access. Wi‑Fi is a trademark of the non-profit Wi-Fi Alliance, which restricts the use of the term Wi-Fi Certified to products that successfully complete interoperability certification testing. As of 2010, the Wi-Fi Alliance consisted of more than 375 companies from around the world. As of 2009, Wi-Fi-integrated circuit chips shipped approximately 580 million units yearly. Devices that can use Wi-Fi technologies include desktops and laptops, smartphones and tablets, smart TVs, printers, digital audio players, digital cameras, cars and drones.

In telecommunications and computer networks, a channel access method or multiple access method allows more than two terminals connected to the same transmission medium to transmit over it and to share its capacity. Examples of shared physical media are wireless networks, bus networks, ring networks and point-to-point links operating in half-duplex mode.

Wireless transfer of information or power that does not require the use of physical wires

Wireless communication is the electromagnetic transfer of information between two or more points that are not connected by an electrical conductor. The most common wireless technologies use radio waves. With radio waves, intended distances can be short, such as a few meters for Bluetooth or as far as millions of kilometers for deep-space radio communications. It encompasses various types of fixed, mobile, and portable applications, including two-way radios, cellular telephones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and wireless networking. Other examples of applications of radio wireless technology include GPS units, garage door openers, wireless computer mouse, keyboards and headsets, headphones, radio receivers, satellite television, broadcast television and cordless telephones. Somewhat less common methods of achieving wireless communications include the use of other electromagnetic wireless technologies, such as light, magnetic, or electric fields or the use of sound.

Wireless access point device that allows wireless devices to connect to a wired network using Wi-Fi, or related standards

In computer networking, a wireless access point (WAP), or more generally just access point (AP), is a networking hardware device that allows other Wi-Fi devices to connect to a wired network. The AP usually connects to a router as a standalone device, but it can also be an integral component of the router itself. An AP is differentiated from a hotspot which is a physical location where Wi-Fi access is available.

Wireless local loop (WLL), is the use of a wireless communications link as the "last mile / first mile" connection for delivering plain old telephone service (POTS) or Internet access to telecommunications customers. Various types of WLL systems and technologies exist.

WiMAX wireless broadband standard

WiMAX is a family of wireless broadband communication standards based on the IEEE 802.16 set of standards, which provide multiple physical layer (PHY) and Media Access Control (MAC) options.

Wireless mesh network network topology

A wireless mesh network (WMN) is a communications network made up of radio nodes organized in a mesh topology. It is also a form of wireless ad hoc network.

Cellular network communication network where the last link is wireless

A cellular network or mobile network is a communication network where the last link is wireless. The network is distributed over land areas called "cells", each served by at least one fixed-location transceiver, but more normally, three cell sites or base transceiver stations. These base stations provide the cell with the network coverage which can be used for transmission of voice, data, and other types of content. A cell typically uses a different set of frequencies from neighbouring cells, to avoid interference and provide guaranteed service quality within each cell.

Voice over WLAN

Voice over wireless LAN is the use of a wireless broadband network according to the IEEE 802.11 standards for the purpose of vocal conversation. In essence, it is voice over IP (VoIP) over a Wi-Fi network. In most cases, the Wi-Fi network and voice components supporting the voice system are privately owned.

In a hierarchical telecommunications network, the backhaul portion of the network comprises the intermediate links between the core network, or backbone network, and the small subnetworks at the edge of the network.

A wide variety of different wireless data technologies exist, some in direct competition with one another, others designed for specific applications. Wireless technologies can be evaluated by a variety of different metrics of which some are described in this entry.

Long-range Wi-Fi is used for low-cost, unregulated point-to-point computer network connections, as an alternative to other fixed wireless, cellular networks or satellite Internet access.

Mobile broadband marketing term for wireless Internet access through a portable modem, USB wireless modem, or a tablet/smartphone or other mobile device

Mobile broadband is the marketing term for wireless Internet access through a portable modem, USB wireless modem, or a tablet/smartphone or other mobile device. The first wireless Internet access became available in 1991 as part of the second generation (2G) of mobile phone technology. Higher speeds became available in 2001 and 2006 as part of the third (3G) and fourth (4G) generations. In 2011, 90% of the world's population lived in areas with 2G coverage, while 45% lived in areas with 2G and 3G coverage. Mobile broadband uses the spectrum of 225 MHz to 3700 MHz.

IEEE 802.11b-1999 or 802.11b, is an amendment to the IEEE 802.11 wireless networking specification that extends throughput up to 11 Mbit/s using the same 2.4 GHz band. A related amendment was incorporated into the IEEE 802.11-2007 standard.

IEEE 802.11g-2003 or 802.11g is an amendment to the IEEE 802.11 specification that operates in the 2.4 GHz microwave band. The standard has extended throughput to up to 54 Mbit/s using the same 20MHz bandwidth as 802.11b uses to achieve 11 Mbit/s. This specification under the marketing name of Wi-Fi has been implemented all over the world. The 802.11g protocol is now Clause 19 of the published IEEE 802.11-2007 standard, and Clause 19 of the published IEEE 802.11-2012 standard.

There are several uses of the 2.4 GHz band. Interference may occur between devices operating at 2.4 GHz. This article details the different users of the 2.4 GHz band, how they cause interference to other users and how they are prone to interference from other users.

RF CMOS is a metal–oxide–semiconductor (MOS) integrated circuit (IC) technology that integrates radio-frequency (RF), analog and digital electronics on a mixed-signal CMOS RF circuit chip. It is widely used in modern wireless telecommunications, such as cellular networks, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS receivers, broadcasting, vehicular communication systems, and the radio transceivers in all modern mobile phones and wireless networking devices. RF CMOS technology was pioneered by Pakistani engineer Asad Ali Abidi at UCLA during the late 1980s to early 1990s, and helped bring about the wireless revolution with the introduction of digital signal processing in wireless communications.

References

  1. "A New Clusterings Algorithm for Wireless Sensor Networks".
  2. "Overview of Wireless Communications". cambridge.org. Retrieved 8 February 2008.
  3. "Getting to Know Wireless Networks and Technology". informit.com. Retrieved 8 February 2008.
  4. 1 2 3 Guowang Miao, Jens Zander, Ki Won Sung, and Ben Slimane, Fundamentals of Mobile Data Networks, Cambridge University Press, ISBN   1107143217, 2016.
  5. 1 2 Baliga, B. Jayant (2005). Silicon RF Power MOSFETS. World Scientific. ISBN   9789812561213.
  6. 1 2 3 Asif, Saad (2018). 5G Mobile Communications: Concepts and Technologies. CRC Press. pp. 128–134. ISBN   9780429881343.
  7. 1 2 O'Neill, A. (2008). "Asad Abidi Recognized for Work in RF-CMOS". IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society Newsletter. 13 (1): 57–58. doi:10.1109/N-SSC.2008.4785694. ISSN   1098-4232.
  8. Colinge, Jean-Pierre; Greer, James C. (2016). Nanowire Transistors: Physics of Devices and Materials in One Dimension. Cambridge University Press. p. 2. ISBN   9781107052406.
  9. "Will 5G kill human".
  10. "Wireless Network Industry Report". Archived from the original on 29 October 2008. Retrieved 8 July 2008.
  11. "Wi-Fi Personal Area Networks get a boost with Windows 7 and Intel My WiFi" . Retrieved 27 April 2010.
  12. "Facts About WiMAX And Why Is It "The Future of Wireless Broadband"".
  13. "GSM World statistics". GSM Association. 2010. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  14. "Mobile Broadband Wireless connections (MBWA)" . Retrieved 12 November 2011.
  15. 1 2 3 4 Dean Tamara (2010). Network+ Guide to Networks (5th ed.). Boston: Cengage Learning. ISBN   978-1-4239-0245-4.
  16. 1 2 "Wireless LAN Technologies". Source Daddy website. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  17. 1 2 "WLAN Benefits". Wireless Center commercial web site. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  18. GR-3171-CORE,Generic Requirements for Network Elements Used in Wireless Networks – Physical Layer Criteria
  19. Anadiotis, Angelos-Christos; et al. (2010). "Towards Maximising Wireless Testbed Utilization Using Spectrum Slicing". In Thomas Magedanz; Athanasius Gavras; Huu Thanh Nguyen; Jeffrey S. Chase (eds.). Testbeds and Research Infrastructures, Development of Networks and Communities: 6th International ICST Conference, TridentCom 2010, Berlin, Germany, May 18–20, 2010, Revised Selected Papers. 6th International ICST Conference, TridentCom 2010, Berlin, Germany, May 18–20, 2010. 46. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 302. Retrieved 19 July 2015. […] Central Regulatory Domain Agent (CRDA) […] controls the channels to be set on the system, based on the regulations of each country.
  20. Foster, Kenneth R (March 2007). "Radiofrequency exposure from wireless LANs utilizing Wi-Fi technology". Health Physics. 92 (3): 280–289. doi:10.1097/01.HP.0000248117.74843.34. PMID   17293700.
  21. "WiFi". Health Protection Agency. 26 October 2009. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  22. "Health Protection Agency announces further research into use of WiFi". Health Protection Agency . Retrieved 28 August 2008.
  23. Daniels, Nicki (11 December 2006). "Wi-fi: should we be worried?". The Times. London. Retrieved 16 September 2007. All the expert reviews done here and abroad indicate that there is unlikely to be a health risk from wireless networks. … When we have conducted measurements in schools, typical exposures from WiFi are around 20 millionths of the international guideline levels of exposure to radiation. As a comparison, a child on a mobile phone receives up to 50 percent of guideline levels. So a year sitting in a classroom near a wireless network is roughly equivalent to 20 minutes on a mobile. If WiFi should be taken out of schools, then the mobile phone network should be shut down, too—and FM radio and TV, as the strength of their signals is similar to that from WiFi in classrooms....

Further reading