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Wireless Networking at Carnegie Mellon University

Friday, August 16, 2002


Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is a well-known pioneer in many uses of IT in higher education. In 1994, CMU was conducting about $20 million of research into mobile and wearable computing and crafted a vision of a wireless campus network. In 1995, well before the existence of 802.11x standards, wireless functioned either as a replacement for point-to-point links between buildings or to provide mobility for a piece of equipment. By 2000, CMU deployed wireless using 802.11 access points (AP) in 30 buildings (3 million square feet), with leakage providing limited outdoor coverage. This ECAR case study reviews CMU's AP placement, channel allocation, support and funding strategies. The study also reviews handheld/PDA wireless applications at CMU and gauges the impact of wireless networking at this university.

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