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Chapter 14: IEEE 802.

Wireless LAN Standard
 Wireless LAN standards defined by IEEE
802.11 committee
IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN

Chapter 14
IEEE 802 Protocol Layers
Protocol Architecture
 Functions of physical layer:
 Encoding/decoding of signals
 Preamble generation/removal (for
 Bit transmission/reception
 Includes specification of the transmission
Protocol Architecture
 Sublayers of physical layer:
 Physical layer convergence procedure (PLCP):
method of mapping 802.11 MAC layer
protocol data units into a framing format for
sending and receiving user data and
management information
 Physical medium dependent sublayer (PMD):
characteristics of, and method of transmitting
and receiving, user data through a wireless
medium between two or more stations
Protocol Architecture
Data Link Layer (Level 2)
 Functions of medium access control (MAC)
 On transmission, assemble data into a frame
with address and error detection fields
 On reception, disassemble frame and perform
address recognition and error detection
 Govern access to the LAN transmission
Protocol Architecture
Data Link Layer (Level 2)
 Functions of logical link control (LLC) Layer:

 Provide an interface to higher layers and

perform flow and error control
Protocol Architecture
Separation of LLC and MAC
 The logic required to manage access to a
shared-access medium not found in traditional
layer 2 data link control
 For the same LLC, several MAC options may
be provided
 Higher-level data are passed down to LLC,
which appends control information as a header,
creating an LLC protocol data unit (PDU)
 PDU is then passed down to the MAC layer,
which appends control information at the front
and back of the packet, forming a MAC frame
MAC Frame Format
 MAC control
 Contains Mac protocol information
 Destination MAC address
 Destination physical attachment point
 Source MAC address
 Source physical attachment point
 Cyclic redundancy check
Logical Link Control
 Characteristics of LLC not shared by other
control protocols:
 Must support multiaccess, shared-medium
nature of the link
 Relieved of some details of link access by
MAC layer
LLC Services
 Unacknowledged connectionless service
 Datagram-style service
 No flow- and error-control mechanisms
 Data delivery not guaranteed
 In most devices, there will be some higher
layer of software that deals with reliability
LLC Services
 Connection-mode service
 Logical connection set up between two users
 Flow- and error-control provided
 Acknowledged connectionless service
 Cross between previous two services
 Datagrams acknowledged
 No prior logical setup
 Services given are according to vendor of
equipment or can be selected per-equipment
LLC Services Equipment
 Unacknowledged connectionless service
 Requires minimum logic and is useful in two
 Will often be the case that higher layers of
software will provide the necessary reliability
and flow-control mechanism
 There are instances in which the overhead of
connection establishment and maintenance is
unjustified or even counterproductive
LLC Services Equipment
 Connection-mode service
 Very simple devices, such as remote sensors,
that have little software operating above this
 It would provide the flow control and
reliability mechanisms normally implemented
at higher layers of the communications
LLC Services Equipment
 Acknowledged connectionless service
 The logical link control software must
maintain some sort of table for each active
connection, to keep track of the status of that
 Large number of tables required
 Examples: central site may need to
communicate with a large number of
processors and programmable controllers,
handling of important and time critical alarm
or emergency control signals in a factory
Differences between LLC and
 HDLC is a block error correction code
 LLC uses asynchronous balanced mode of
operation of HDLC (type 2 operation)
 LLC supports unacknowledged
connectionless service (type 1 operation)
 LLC supports acknowledged connectionless
service (type 3 operation)
 LLC permits multiplexing by the use of LLC
service access points (LSAPs)
LLC Frame Format
 DSAP and SSAP Fields: 7-bit address, which
specify the destination and source users of
LLC, respectively
 One bit of the DSAP indicates whether the
DSAP is an individual or group address
 One bit of the SSAP indicates whether the
PDU is a command or response PDU
 LLC control field: identical to that of HDLC
using extended (7-bit) sequence numbers
LLC Frame Format
 Information Field: changes according to the
type of operation of the LLC
 Type 1 operation: the unnumbered information
(UI) PDU is used to transfer user data; no
acknowledgment, flow control, or error
control; there is error detection and discard at
the MAC level
 Type 2 operation: a data link connection is
established between two LLC SAPs prior to
data exchange; uses unnumbered
acknowledgment (UA) PDU for error
detection and flow control
LLC Frame Format
 Information Field: changes according to the
type of operation of the LLC
 Type 3 operation: each transmitted PDU is
acknowledged; User data are sent in
Acknowledged Connectionless (AC)
command PDUs and must be acknowledged
using an AC response PDU
Logical Link Control
IEEE 802.11 History
 Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance
(WECA), an industry consortium, was formed
in 1999  renamed as Wireless Fidelity (Wi-
 Created standards and interoperability of IEEE
802.11, which was then for WLAN protocols
IEEE 802.11 Architecture
 Basic service set (BSS)
 Smallest building block
 Stations competing for access to shared
wireless medium
 Isolated or connected to backbone DS through
 Example: Mobile stations: smartphone, laptop
IEEE 802.11 Architecture
 Distribution system (DS)
 Main connection to the services such as
 Access point (AP)
 Connecting devices such as router, bridge,
or hub
 Portal
 Interconnection between a wireless LAN
and a wired LAN
IEEE 802.11 Architecture
 Independent Basic Service Set (IBSS)
 When a mobile station does not have
connection to other BSS
 Typically connected via ad-hoc network

 Extended service set (ESS)

 Two or more basic service sets
interconnected by DS
IEEE 802.11 Architecture
IEEE 802.11 Services
IEEE 802.11 Services
Services are categorized into two ways:
 The service provider can be either the station
or the distribution system (DS)
 Three of the services are used to control
IEEE 802.11 LAN access and confidentiality.
Six of the services are used to support
delivery of MAC service data units (MSDUs)
between stations
Distribution of Messages Within
a DS
 Distribution service
 Used to exchange MAC frames from station
in one BSS to station in another BSS
 Integration service
 Transfer of data between station on IEEE
802.11 LAN and station on integrated IEEE
802.x LAN
Association-Related Services
 Requires information about stations within the ESS,
which is provided by the association-related services
Transition Types based on mobility:
 No transition
 Stationary or moves only within BSS
 BSS transition
 Station moving from one BSS to another BSS in same
 ESS transition
 Station moving from BSS in one ESS to BSS within
another ESS
Association-Related Services
 Association
 Establishes initial association between station and AP
 Before a station can transmit or receive frames on a
wireless LAN, its identity and address must be known
 A station must establish an association with an AP
within a particular BSS
Association-Related Services
 Reassociation
 Enables transfer of association from one AP to
another, allowing station to move from one BSS to
 Disassociation
 Association termination notice from station or AP
 A station should give this notification before leaving
an ESS or shutting down
Access and Privacy Services
Two characteristics of a wired LAN that are not
inherent in a wireless LAN:
 In order to transmit over a wired LAN, a station
must be physically connected to the LAN
 With a wireless LAN, any station within radio range
of the other devices on the LAN can transmit
 Authentication in who to connect is observable in
wired LAN
Access and Privacy Services
Two characteristics of a wired LAN that are not
inherent in a wireless LAN:
 In order to receive a transmission from a station that
is part of a wired LAN, the receiving station must
also be attached to the wired LAN
 Any station within radio range can receive data
 A wired LAN provides a degree of privacy, limiting
reception of data to stations connected to the LAN
Access and Privacy Services
 Authentication
 Establishes identity of stations to each other
 802.11 should be password-protected
 Deathentication
 Invoked when existing authentication is
 Privacy
 Prevents message contents from being read by
unintended recipient
IEEE 802.11 Medium Access
 MAC layer covers three functional areas:
 Reliable data delivery
 Access control
 Security
Reliable Data Delivery
 More efficient to deal with errors at the MAC
level than higher layer (such as TCP)
 Frame exchange protocol
 Source station transmits data
 Destination responds with acknowledgment (ACK)
 If source doesn’t receive ACK, it retransmits frame
 Four frame exchange
 Source issues request to send (RTS)
 Destination responds with clear to send (CTS)
 Source transmits data
 Destination responds with ACK
Medium Access Control
 Two types of proposals for a MAC algorithm:
 Distributed access protocols: like Ethernet,
distribute the decision to transmit over all the
nodes using a carrier-sense mechanism
 Centralized access protocols: involve
regulation of transmission by a centralized
decision maker
 Implemented algorithm:
 DFWMAC (distributed foundation wireless
MAC): provides a distributed access control
mechanism with an optional centralized control
built on top of that
Access Control
Medium Access Control Logic
MAC Frame Fields
 Frame Control – frame type, control
 Duration/connection ID – channel allocation
 Addresses – context dependant, types include
source and destination (MAC address)
 Sequence control – numbering and reassembly
 Frame body – MSDU or fragment of MSDU
 Frame check sequence – 32-bit CRC
Frame Control Fields
 Protocol version – 802.11 version
 Type – control, management, or data
 Subtype – identifies function of frame
 To DS – 1 if destined for DS
 From DS – 1 if leaving DS
 More fragments – 1 if fragments follow
 Retry – 1 if retransmission of previous frame
Frame Control Fields
 Power management – 1 if transmitting station
is in sleep mode
 More data – Indicates that station has more
data to send
 WEP – 1 if wired equivalent protocol is
 Order – 1 if any data frame is sent using the
Strictly Ordered service
MAC Frame Format
Control Frame Subtypes
 Power save – poll (PS-Poll)
 Request to send (RTS)
 Clear to send (CTS)
 Acknowledgment
 Contention-free (CF)-end
 CF-end + CF-ack
Data Frame Subtypes
 Data-carrying frames
 Data
 Data + CF-Ack
 Data + CF-Poll
 Data + CF-Ack + CF-Poll
 Other subtypes (don’t carry user data)
 Null Function
 CF-Ack
 CF-Poll
 CF-Ack + CF-Poll
Management Frame Subtypes
 Association request
 Association response
 Reassociation request
 Reassociation response
 Probe request
 Probe response
 Beacon
Management Frame Subtypes
 Announcement traffic indication message
 Dissociation
 Authentication
 Deauthentication
 Open system authentication
 Exchange of identities, no security benefits
 Shared Key authentication
 Shared Key assures authentication
Wifi Protected Access and
Old algorithm:
 Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)
algorithm: use of the RC4 encryption
algorithm using a 40-bit key
Most common algorithm:
 Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA): set of

security mechanisms that eliminates mos1

802.11 security issues and was based on the
current state of the 802.11i standard
Wired Equivalent Privacy
Wifi Protected Access and
 Three main ingredients:
 Authentication: define an exchange between a
user and an authentication server that provides
mutual authentication and generates temporary
 Access Control: enforces the use of the

authentication function, routes the messages

properly, and facilitates key exchange
 Privacy with message integrity: MAC-level
data are encrypted, ensures that the data have
not been altered
Wifi Protected Access and
 Access Control
Physical Media Defined by
Original 802.11 Standard
 Direct-sequence spread spectrum
 Operating in 2.4 GHz ISM band
 Data rates of 1 and 2 Mbps
 Frequency-hopping spread spectrum
 Operating in 2.4 GHz ISM band
 Data rates of 1 and 2 Mbps
 Infrared
 1 and 2 Mbps
 Wavelength between 850 and 950 nm
IEEE 802.11x standards
 IEEE 802.11a
 Makes use of 5-GHz band
 Provides rates of 6, 9 , 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps
 Uses orthogonal frequency division multiplexing
 Subcarrier modulated using BPSK, QPSK, 16-QAM
or 64-QAM
 Higher rates than the standards of b/g/n
IEEE 802.11x standards
 IEEE 802.11b
 Provides data rates of 5.5 and 11 Mbps
 Operating frequency of 2.4GHz
 Complementary code keying (CCK) modulation
IEEE 802.11x standards
 IEEE 802.11g
 Extends 802.11b to data rates above 20 Mbps, up to
54 Mbps
 Operates in the 2.4-GHz range and thus the two are
 Wider array of data rate and modulation scheme
IEEE 802.11x standards
 IEEE 802.11n
 Range of enhancements to both the physical and
MAC layers to improve throughput
 Multiple antennas, smart antennas, changes to signal
encoding schemes, and changes to MAC access
 Operating frequency of 2.4GHz
IEEE 802.11x standards
 IEEE 802.11c
 Bridge operation
 Works with both 2.4GHz and 5GHz
 IEEE 802.11d
 Regulatory domain update
 IEEE 802.11e
 Revisions to the MAC layer to improve quality of
service and address some security issues
 IEEE 802.11f
 Revisions to the MAC layer to improve quality of
service and address some security issues
IEEE 802.11x standards
 IEEE 802.11h
 Spectrum and power management issues
 IEEE 802.11i
 Security and authentication mechanisms at the MAC
 WPA protocols
 IEEE 802.11k
 Radio Resource Measurement enhancements to
provide mechanisms to higher layers for radio and
network measurements
 IEEE 802.11m
 Correct editorial and technical issues in the standard
IEEE 802.11x standards
 Most common Wifi standards:
 IEEE 802.11 b/g/n (all are compatible in one
device)  2.4GHz band and 5GHz band,
450Mbps max
 IEEE 802.11ac (bundled together)  5GHz
band, 1.3Gbps max, more common in newer
devices (2018+)