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On the necessity of separating MAC protocols into data and control planes

by   Zhongjiang Yan, et al.

The network protocol architecture not only can be designed from the traditional view of layers, but also can be designed from the view of planes, i.e., the data, control and management planes. Media access control (MAC) is a function of the data link layer, and thus the MAC protocols involve of both the data and control planes. However, although the international wireless local area network (WLAN) standard, IEEE 802.11 or Wi-Fi, has developed over 20 years, the control plane of the MAC protocols is not explicitly described yet. Thus, does it need to separate the MAC protocols into data and control planes? If not, are there some problems in existing hybrid architecture? To answer above questions, we analyse the possible problems of the current MAC protocols in IEEE 802.11, particularly in std 802.11-2020. These problems can be seen as new starts for the next study of the WLAN for the next generation (WNG).


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