A metropolitan area network (MAN) is a network that interconnects users with computer resources in a geographic area or region larger than that covered by even a large local area network (LAN) but smaller than the area covered by a wide area network (WAN). The term is applied to the interconnection of networks in a city into a single larger network (which may then also offer efficient connection to a wide area network). It is also used to mean the interconnection of several local area networks by bridging them with backbone lines. The latter usage is also sometimes referred to as a campus network.
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Examples of metropolitan area networks of various sizes can be found in the metropolitan areas of London, England; Lodz, Poland; and Geneva, Switzerland. Large universities also sometimes use the term to describe their networks. A recent trend is the installation of wireless MANs.
This course provides a detailed examination of wired and wireless local and metropolitan area network (LAN and MAN) technologies, protocols, and the methods used for implementing LAN- and MAN-based enterprise intranets. The structure and operation of the IEEE 802 media access control (MAC) and physical layer protocols are examined in detail. The 802.2 logical link control, 802.3/Ethernet, 802.4 token bus, and 802.5 token ring protocols are analyzed, and the construction of LAN-based enterprise intranets is examined through a detailed analysis of bridging, routing, and switching techniques. High-speed LAN technologies are discussed through an examination of FDDI, Fast Ethernet, 100VG AnyLAN, ATM LAN Emulation (LANE), and Fibre Channel protocols, along with the new standards for gigabit and 10-gigabit Ethernet. In addition, the 802.6 DQDB and 802.17 Resilient Packet Ring MAN protocols are discussed. Finally, the new and emerging wireless LAN and MAN standards are examined. The 802.11 (Wi-Fi) wireless LAN and 802.15 (Bluetooth) wireless PAN standards are discussed in detail along with the emerging 802.16 (WiMAX) wireless MAN standard. Topics include Manchester and Differential Manchester encoding techniques; bus, star, and ring topologies; optical fiber, coaxial cable, and UTP media; baseband, broadband, and carrierband bus networks; hubs, switched LANs, and full duplex LANs; VLANs and prioritization techniques; transparent and source routing bridge algorithms; packet bursting and carrier extension schemes; wireless spread spectrum and frequency hopping transmission techniques; wireless collision avoidance media access control; and security schemes. Students may use the network lab to configure LAN switches and Cisco routers, as well as to observe the interconnection of LAN networks.