Abstract

IEEE 802.11 [4] attempts to model wireless networks as a replacement for wired networks. For example, a wireless client needs to “associate” with an Access Point (AP) before it can communicate, which is similar to the act of connecting a wired client to an Ethernet bridge or a switch. Once a wireless client is associated to an AP, it can no longer communicate with other APs around it without using sophisticated software [3]. This wired model needlessly limits the capabilities of wireless networks. For example, when a wireless client can hear APs other than the one with which it is associated, this restricted communication model prevents them from exchanging useful information. One example of useful information that APs could communicate to non-associated clients would be the AP load, which clients can use to improve their AP selection strategy.