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Design challenges for short-range wireless networks

Design challenges for short-range wireless networks

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The proliferation of mobile computing devices including laptops, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and wearable computers has created an enormous demand for wireless personal area networks (WPANs). WPANs originally enabled convenient interconnection of devices around an individual person or computer. From this starting point, a broad variety of new wireless appliances has been developed, allowing proximal devices to share information and resources. Major fields of application are industrial, scientific and medical (ISM), but also consumer electronics and smart home appliances. However, for this short-range wireless connectivity, some additional challenges must be resolved. They are: (i) topology issues, i.e. self-organising, ad hoc and mesh networking; (ii) device issues, i.e. efficient, modular, low-cost and power-saving implementation; and (iii) security issues. The paper gives an overview of the challenges and suggests different solutions, especially in the field of security. In addition, it reports on working experience with two protocols: Bluetooth and IEEE802.15.4.

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