IEEE 802.x Networks

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netzIEEE 802.x Networks

The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) was established to "...preserve, research and promote the history of information and electrical technologies." IEEE is a nonprofit association of more than 350000 members in 150 countries.
The IEEE 802 is an IEEE project covering several well established standards of Local Area Networks (LAN) since the late 70's. The project specifies layers 1 and 2 of the OSI reference model. Here LLC (Logical Link Control) and MAC (Media Access Control) needs to be distinguished. The IEEE 802 Working Groups are also active in giving the different networks a common basis such as Netzworkmanagement, Internetworking and ISO-Interaction.

The following list gives an overview of IEEE's 802 Working Groups (WG) standardized network protocols. European alternative and comparable standards from the ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) - often named as BRAN standards- are available as well. Some IEEE working Groups are inactive, while not mentioned 802.x WG in the sequence numbers are cancelled (see also Link If required new Working Groups will be build in the future.

See also the following links: (802.11 Frequencies)

An overview about sub-activities and amendments can be found here:

    ETSI BRAN                 Braodband Radio Access Network
    ETSI HIPERLAN         High Performance Radio Local Area Network
    ETSI HIPERMAN       High Performance Radio Metropolitan Area Network
    ETSI HIPERACCESS High Performance Radio Access (HA)
    3GPP                           3rd Generation Partnership Project
    ETSI HIPERLink           High Performance Radio Link




IEEE 802.1     Bridging and Management/Higher Layer LAN Protocols
This Working Group develop standards and recommended practices in the following areas: 802 LAN/MAN architecture, internetworking among 802 LANs, MANs and other wide area networks, 802 Link Security, 802 overall network management, and protocol layers above the MAC & LLC layers.

IEEE 802.2     Logical Link Control (LLC)
This Working Group developed standards for Logical Link Control (LLC) and is currently inactive with no new projects. Its completed work is a published standard in

  • ANSI/IEEE Standard 802.2, 1998 Edition
  • ISO/IEC 8802-2:1998

IEEE 802.3     CSMA/CD Access Method

A local-area network (LAN) architecture developed by Xerox Corporation in cooperation with DEC and Intel in 1976. Ethernet uses a bus or star topology and supports data transfer rates of 10 Mbps. The Ethernet specification served as the basis for the IEEE 802.3 standard, which specifies the physical and lower software layers. Ethernet uses the CSMA/CD (Carriere Sense xxxxx/Collision Detect) access method to handle simultaneous demands. It is one of the most widely implemented LAN standards. A newer version of Ethernet, called 100Base-T (or Fast Ethernet), supports data transfer rates of 100 Mbps. And the newest version, Gigabit Ethernet supports data rates of 1 gigabit (1,000 megabits) per second.

  • 10Base-5
    The originals cabling standard for Ethernet that uses coaxial cables. The name derives from the fact that the maximum data transfer speed is 10 Mbps, it uses baseband transmission, and the maximum length of cables is 500 meters. 10Base-5 is also called thick Ethernet, ThickWire, and ThickNet.
  • 10Base-T
    One of several adaptations of the Ethernet (IEEE 802.3) standard for Local Area Networks (LANs). The 10Base-T standard (also called Twisted Pair Ethernet) uses a twisted-pair cable with maximum lengths of 100 meters. The cable is thinner and more flexible than the coaxial cable used for the 10Base-2 or 10Base-5 standards. Cables in the 10Base-T system connect with RJ-45 connectors. A star topology is common with 12 or more computers connected directly to a hub or concentrator. The 10Base-T system operates at 10 Mbps and uses baseband transmission methods.
  • 10Base-2
    One of several adaptations of the Ethernet (IEEE 802.3) standard for Local Area Networks (LANs). The 10Base-2 standard (also called Thinnet) uses 50 ohm coaxial cable (RG-58 A/U) with maximum lengths of 185 meters. This cable is thinner and more flexible than that used for the 10Base-5 standard. The RG-58 A/U cable is both less expensive and easier to place. Cables in the 10Base-2 system connect with BNC connectors. The Network Interface Card (NIC) in a computer requires a T-connector where you can attach two cables to adjacent computers. Any unused connection must have a 50 ohm terminator. The 10Base-2 system operates at 10 Mbps and uses baseband transmission methods.
  • 100Base-T
    A networking standard that supports data transfer rates up to 100 Mbps (100 megabits per second). 100BASE-T is based on the older Ethernet standard. Because it is 10 times faster than Ethernet, it is often referred to as Fast Ethernet. Officially, the 100BASE-T standard is IEEE 802.3u. Like Ethernet, 100BASE-T is based on the CSMA/CD LAN access method. There are several different cabling schemes that can be used with 100BASE-T, including:
    • 100BASE-TX: two pairs of high-quality twisted-pair wires
    • 100BASE-T4: four pairs of normal-quality twisted-pair wires
    • 100BASE-FX: fiber optic cables
  • Gigabit Ethernet
    The newest version of Ethernet, which supports data transfer rates of 1 Gigabit (1,000 megabits) per second. The first Gigabit Ethernet standard (802.3z) was ratified by the IEEE 802.3 Committee in 1998. 10Gigabit Ethernet is also called XGMII, XAUI is a Extension of the 10 Gbps Ethernet standard, similar to Infiniband interface standard.
  • Shared Ethernet
    The traditional type of Ethernet, in which all hosts are connected to the same bus and compete with one another for bandwidth. In contrast, a switched Ethernet has one or more direct, point-to-point connections between hosts or segments. Devices connected to the Ethernet with a switch do not compete with each other and therefore have dedicated bandwidth.

As high-speed serial interfaces of today’s Gigabit Ethernet transceivers following buffer types are typically used:

  • LVPECL Low Voltage Pseudo Emitter Coupled Logic
  • CML       Current Mode Logic
  • VML       Voltage Mode Logic

IEEE 802.5     Token Ring Access Method
Token Ring network was originally developed by IBM in the 1970s and is still their primary local-area network (LAN) technology. The related IEEE 802.5 specification is almost identical to and completely compatible with this network. In fact, the IEEE 802.5 specification was modeled after IBM Token Ring. Nevertheless "Token Ring" is used to refer to both IBM's Token Ring and IEEE 802.5 networks which are basically compatible.
Beside other differences like media type and routing information fields, IBM's Token Ring network specifies a star, with all end stations attached to a device called a multistation access unit (MSAU). In contrast, IEEE 802.5 does not specify this as the only topology.

IEEE 802.11    Wireless LAN (WLAN, Wireless Local Area Network)
In 1997 the IEEE adopted this first wireless local area network (WLAN) standard. This standard defines the media access control (MAC) and physical (PHY) layers for a LAN with wireless access. It addresses local area networking where the connected devices communicate over the air to other devices that are within close proximity to each other. In order to use different portions of the spectrum and to operate in different environments several task groups are installed from 802.11a (5GHz) to 802.11i (security and authentication mechanisms). (802.11 Frequencies)

ETSI HIPERLAN    High Performance Radio Local Area Network
ETSI BRAN specification: HIPERLAN is a set of wireless local area network (WLAN) communication standards primarily used in European countries. Two specifications are currently available: HIPERLAN/1 and HIPERLAN/2. Both have been adopted by the ETSI. The HIPERLAN standards provide features and capabilities similar to those of the IEEE 802.11 wireless local area network (WLAN) standards.

  • HIPERLAN/1 provides communications at up to 20 Mbps in the 5-GHz range of the radio frequency spectrum and is targeted for communication between portable devices. In addition it can be used as an extension of a wired LAN. The support of multimedia applications is possible.
  • HIPERLAN/2 operates at up to 54 Mbps in the same RF band. HIPERLAN/2 is compatible with 3G (third-generation / 3GPP) WLAN systems for sending and receiving data, images, and voice communications. It has the potential,  for a worldwide implementation in conjunction with similar systems in the 5-GHz raidio frequency band and provides interworking capabilities with several core networks including the Ethernet, IEEE 1394 (FireWire) and ATM.

IEEE 802.12    Demand Priority Access

IEEE 802.15    Wireless Personal Area Networks

The Bluetooth radio is built into a small microchip and operates in the 2.4Ghz band, a globally available frequency band ensuring communication compatibility worldwide. It uses frequency hopping spread spectrum, which changes its signal 1600 times per second which helps to avoid interception by unauthorized parties.
Bluetooth wireless technology  revolutionizes the personal connectivity market (WPAN; Wireless Private Area Network)by providing freedom from wired connections - enabling links between mobile computers, mobile phones, portable handheld devices, and connectivity to the Internet. Interface, synchronize, exchange? All of the above, and more. Bluetooth technology redefines the very way we experience connectivity.
Hardware that complies with the Bluetooth wireless specification ensures communication compatibility worldwide. As a low-cost, low-power solution with industry-wide support, Bluetooth wireless technology allows you to bring connectivity with you.
Establishing a standard means integrating well-tested technology with the power-efficiency and low-cost of a compliant radio system (about the Specification). Establishing a standard also means a group of industry leading promoter companies who drive the specification forward (about the Bluetooth SIG). Bluetooth technology works because it has been developed as a cross industry solution that marries a vision of engineering innovation with an understanding of business and consumer expectations.
Bluetooth is supported by product and application development in a wide range of market segments, including software developers, silicon vendors, peripheral and camera manufacturers, mobile PC manufacturers and handheld device developers, consumer electronics manufacturers, car manufacturers, and test and measurement equipment manufacturers.

IEEE 802.16    Broadband Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks WMAN
WiMAX            Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access
The IEEE 802.16 standard covering frequency bands in the range between 2 GHz and 11 GHz, specifies a metropolitan area networking (MAN) protocol that will enable a wireless alternative for cable, DSL and T1 level services for last mile broadband access, as well as providing backhaul for 801.11 hotspots (WLAN). The new 802.16a standard specifies a protocol that among other things supports low latency applications such as voice and video, provides broadband connectivity without requiring a direct line of sight (LOS) between subscriber terminals and the base station (BTS). So WiMAX will support hundreds or even thousands of subscribers stations, each of which is typically mounted on a rooftop, from a single BTS. Doing this WiMax will help accelerate the introduction of wireless broadband equipment into the market, speeding up last-mile broadband deployment worldwide by enabling service providers to increase system performance and reliability while reducing their equipment costs and investment risks.

WiMAX's equivalent or competitor in Europe is HIPERMAN. WiMAX Forum, the consortium behind the standardization, is working on methods to make 802.16 and HIPERMAN interoperate seamlessly. Unlike earlier broadband wireless access (BWA) iterations WiMAX is highly standardized which should reduce installation and operation costs.

ETSI HIPERMAN    High Performance Radio Metropolitan Area Network
HIPERMAN is a ETSI Broadband Radio Access Networks (BRAN) standard also providing a wireless network communication as IEEE 802.16 in the 2 - 11 GHz bands. Thus HIPERMAN can be seen as a European alternative to the WiMax IEEE 802.16 standard.

ETSI HIPERACCESS     High Performance Radio (HA)
3GPP                                 3rd Generation Partnership Project
ETSI BRAN, now 3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project), specification: This long range variant is intended for point-to-multipoint, high speed fixed wireless and high-QoS  access up to 120 Mb/s (25 Mbit/ s typical data rate) by residential and small business users to a wide variety of networks including the UMTS core networks, ATM networks and IP based networks. The system is capable of supporting multi-media applications and will be operated in either licensed or licensed frequency bands above 11 GHz (e.g., 26, 28, 32, 42 GHz) with high spectral efficiency under LOS (Line Of Sight) conditions.

In IP based networks HIPERLAN/2 might be used for distribution. Spectrum allocation in the 40,5 - 43,5 GHz band are being discussed in the relevant CEPT/ ERC working groups.

Differences between IEEE 802.16 WMAN and ETSI HIPERACCESS
Two standard for mm-wave Point-to-MultiPoint system have been developed: ETSI BRAN HIPERAccess and IEEE 802.16 (WMAN). The two standard have many commonalities, small differences on details and one major difference:

  • IEEE 802.16 standard is based on variable size PDUs (IP optimisation for IP only stations)
  • ETSI BRAN specification is based on fixed size PDUs (ATM and CES traffic as well as IP).

ETSI HIPERLink     High Performance Radio Link
This ETSI BRAN specification variant will provide short- range very high- speed interconnection of HIPERLANs and HIPERAccess, e.g. up to 155 Mbit/ s over distances up to 150 m. Spectrum for HIPERLink is available in the 17 GHz range.

ETSI BRAN    Braodband Radio Access Network
BRAN is commonly understood as HIPERACCESS, HIPERLAN and HIPERMAN. BRAN is an ETSI Technical Committee and is structured in several working groups covering activities to meet the overall objectives of BRAN.

IEEE 802.17    Resilient Packet Rings
This Working Group develops standards to support the development and deployment of Resilient Packet Ring networks in Local, Metropolitan, and Wide Area Networks for resilient and efficient transfer of data packets at rates scalable to many gigabits per second. These standards build upon existing Physical Layer specifications, and will develop new PHYs where appropriate. IEEE 802.17 is a unit of the IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee.

IEEE 802.18    Radio Regulatory TAG
The LAN/MAN Standards Committee (LMSC) currently has 6 Working Groups with projects on standards for radio-based systems ... IEEE 802.11 (WLAN), IEEE 802.15 (WPAN), IEEE 802.16 (WMAN), IEEE802.20 (Wireless Mobility), IEEE 802.21 (Handoff/Interoperability Between Networks), and IEEE 802.22 (WRAN). Therefore, monitoring of, and active participation in, ongoing radio regulatory activities, at both the national and international levels, are an important part of LMSC's work.

IEEE 802.19    Coexistence TAG
The IEEE 802.19 Coexistence Technical Advisory Group (TAG) will develop and maintain policies defining the responsibilities of 802 standards developers to address issues of coexistence with existing standards and other standards under development. It will also, when required, offer assessments to the Sponsor Executive Committee (SEC) regarding the degree to which standards developers have conformed to those conventions. The TAG may also develop coexistence documentation of interest to the technical community outside 802

IEEE 802.20    Mobile Broadband Wireless Access Working Group (MBWA)
This Working Group develops the specification for an efficient packet based air interface optimized for the transport of IP based services. The goal is to enable worldwide deployment of affordable, ubiquitous, always-on and interoperable multi-vendor mobile broadband wireless access networks that meet the needs of business and residential end user markets.
Its scope covers physical and medium access control layers of an air interface for interoperable mobile broadband wireless access systems, operating in licensed bands below 3.5 GHz, optimized for IP-data transport, with peak data rates per user in excess of 1 Mbps. It supports various vehicular mobility classes up to 250 Km/h in a MAN environment and targets spectral efficiencies, sustained user data rates and numbers of active users that are all significantly higher than achieved by existing mobile systems.

IEEE 802.21    Media Independent Handoff Working Group
This Working Group is developing standards to enable handover and interoperability between heterogeneous network types including both 802 and non 802 networks.

IEEE 802.22    Wireless Regional Area Networks (WRAN) Working Group
The newest Working Group takes care for Wireless Regional Area Networks.
Its charter is to develop a standard for a cognitive radio-based PHY/MAC/air_interface for use by license-exempt devices on a non-interfering basis in spectrum that is allocated to the TV Broadcast Service.

IEEE 802.1x    Authentication in Computer Networks
IEEE 802.1x is a port based authentication protocol and can be used in scenarios where one can abstract out the notion of a port. It requires entitie(s) to play three roles in the authentication process:

  • supplicant
  • authenticator  and
  • authentication server

A Port Access Entity (PAE) is an entity that has access or is capable of gaining or controlling access to some port which offers some services. When applied to IEEE 802.11, the Access Point acts as an authenticator, while a wireless station is the supplicant which is authenticated by the Authentication Server (RADIUS, Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service).


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