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IBM Journal of Research and Development  
Volume 47, Number 2/3, Page 327 (2003)
Communication Technologies
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Broadband radio LANs and the evolution of wireless beyond 3G

by P. R. Chevillat, W. Schott
The wireless communication landscape will continue to develop at a rapid pace over the next few years. New systems and standards are on the horizon which enable broadband wireless communication in the office, at home, and “on the move.” They will finally bring the information services provided by the Internet and the World Wide Web to mobile users, together with a variety of new multimedia entertainment services. In this paper we give an overview of key developments in wireless communication systems. The emerging third-generation (3G) cellular systems and the growing importance of wireless local- and personal-area networks are discussed. The physical and medium-access control (MAC) layers are described for the new broadband wireless local area networks (LANs), which enable “hot-spot” data and multimedia services in airports, hotel lobbies, and a variety of other “public” places. We present an outlook toward a future fourth-generation wireless communication system. It can be integrated with the Internet protocol (IP) backbone network and can provide quality-of-service (QoS) support for multimedia applications. It supports dynamic scheduling, link adaptation, and frequency selection as well as full mobility. We conclude by describing some of the underlying technology developments driving the wireless evolution.
Related Subjects: Communications and communication networks; Computer architecture; Networks