Coverage area: The space in which the wireless radio signals in one wireless LAN can effectively reach and be used to send and receive data between the WLAN’s APs and its clients. Shared bandwidth: A term referring to how some networks must share the right to send data by taking turns, which limits the total number of bits sent by all devices (the network’s total capacity). Wi-Fi: A term created by the Wi-Fi Alliance as part of its overall wireless LAN branding and marketing strategy; this term has become somewhat synonymous with wireless LAN over time. LAN edge: A reference to the part of the campus LAN with the end-user devices and the switches to which they connect, through an Ethernet switch or a wireless LAN access point, that contains the largest number of physical links.
WLAN hotspot: A location, typically in a business like a retailer or restaurant, where customers can come and go and where the company offers a wireless LAN plus Internet access to its customers, often for free. Basic Service Set: In wireless LANs, a single wireless access point (AP) and the client devices that send data to/from that AP. Extended Service Set: A wireless LAN in which all devices communicate through one wireless access point at a time, but the wireless LAN has at least two access points that cooperate to create the single wireless LAN. Unlicensed frequency band:
A set of consecutive frequencies reserved by national regulators (like the FCC in the United States), with the regulations allowing anyone’s devices to use the frequencies, although all must follow certain rules (like limiting power) so that all can get along when using the same frequencies. Nonoverlapping channels: In wireless LANs, channels (frequency ranges) used for sending data for which the frequencies do not overlap, which allows multiple devices to send data at the same time in the same space. Management and control frames: 802.11 frames defined for some overhead function in 802.11, instead of being a data frame, which carries upper-layer information. Service Set ID (SSID): The formal term for the name of a wireless LAN, as advertised in Beacon frames.