Wireless LAN technologies do not allow collisions to be detected as they are in Ethernet environments because WLAN stations cannot hear jam signals due to their half-duplex functionality (i.e., they cannot listen and send at the same time). In order to suppress the negative effects of the half-duplex transmission, WLANs rely on the CSMA/CA mechanism (Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance). Stations in the wireless LAN attempt to avoid collisions before they happen using a distributed coordinated function (DCF) that utilizes random backoff timers.
DCF requires a station wishing to transmit to listen for the . . .
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