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1. (WO2012047643) DETERMINING A COMMUNICATION CHANNEL FROM A PLURALITY OF POSSIBLE CHANNEL BANDWIDTHS
Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

Claims

What is claimed is:

1. A method of determining an available channel bandwidth in a communication system, wherein the communication system utilizes i) a set of component channels for transmitting data streams and ii) a set of access control channels, and wherein each of at least some of the access control channels partially overlaps, in frequency, at least one of the component channels, the method comprising:

determining whether a primary channel of the access control channels is idle, wherein the primary channel partially overlaps, in frequency, at least a first one of the component channels; determining that a composite channel includes one or more of the component channels based at least on a determination of whether the primary channel is idle; and

causing a signal to be transmitted via the composite channel after determining that the composite channel includes one or more of the component channels.

2. A method according to claim 1, further comprising determining whether a secondary channel of the access control channels is idle,

wherein determining that the composite channel includes the one or more component channels is further based on a determination of whether the secondary channel is idle.

3. A method according to claim 2, wherein:

the secondary channel partially overlaps at least the first component channel, and determining that the composite channel includes the one or more component channels includes determining that the composite channel includes the first component channel when it is determined that i) the primary channel is idle, and ii) the secondary channel is idle.

4. A method according to claim 3, further comprising receiving i) a first

acknowledgement on the primary channel, and ii) a second acknowledgement on the secondary channel.

5. A method according to claim 2, wherein:

the secondary channel partially overlaps at least the first component channel,

determining that the composite channel includes the one or more component channels includes determining that the composite channel does not include the first component channel when it is determined that at least one of i) the primary channel, and ii) the secondary channel, is busy.

6. A method according to claim 1, wherein no two of the component channels overlap, and wherein no two of the access control channels overlap.

7. A method according to claim 6, wherein each of the component channels has a first bandwidth and each of the access control channels has a second bandwidth, and wherein the first bandwidth is the same as the second bandwidth.

8. A method according to claim 1, wherein a combined bandwidth of all of the component channels is greater than a combined bandwidth of all of the access control channels.

9. A method according to claim 1, further comprising determining which remaining channels of the access control channels are idle, wherein:

the remaining channels consist of access control channels other than the primary channel, and

determining that the composite channel includes the one or more component channels is further based on a determination of which of the remaining channels are idle.

10. A method according to claim 9, wherein causing the signal to be transmitted via the composite channel includes:

causing a first portion of a data unit to be transmitted via a channel consisting of one or more access control channels that are determined to be idle; and

causing a second portion of the data unit to be transmitted via the composite channel.

11. A method according to claim 10, wherein the first portion of the data unit is at least a portion of a preamble.

12. A method according to claim 1, wherein determining whether the primary channel is idle includes at least one of i) detecting whether a threshold level of signal energy is received on the primary channel, or ii) detecting whether a valid signal is received on the primary channel.

13. A method according to claim 1, wherein determining whether the primary channel is idle includes:

transmitting a first control frame on the primary channel; and

detecting whether a first response frame is received on the primary channel.

14. A method according to claim 13, further comprising determining whether a secondary channel of the access control channels is idle, wherein determining whether the secondary channel is idle includes:

transmitting a second control frame on the secondary channel; and

detecting whether a second response frame is received on the secondary channel.

15. A communication device, comprising:

a network interface configured to

determine whether a primary channel of a set of access control channels is idle, wherein each of the access control channels partially overlaps, in frequency, at least one channel of a set of component channels,

determine that a composite channel includes one or more of the component channels based at least on a determination of whether the primary channel is idle, and cause a signal to be transmitted via the composite channel after determining that the composite channel includes one or more of the component channels.

16. A communication device according to claim 15, wherein the network interface is configured to

determine whether a secondary channel of the access control channels is idle, and determine that the composite channel includes the one or more component channels based on a determination of whether the secondary channel is idle.

17. A communication device according to claim 15, wherein no two of the component channels overlap, and wherein no two of the access control channels overlap.

18. A communication device according to claim 15, wherein each of the component channels has a first bandwidth and each of the access control channels has a second bandwidth, and wherein the first bandwidth is the same as the second bandwidth.

19. A communication device according to claim 15, wherein a combined bandwidth of all of the component channels is greater than a combined bandwidth of all of the access control channels.

20. A communication device according to claim 15, wherein the network interface is configured to determine whether the primary channel is idle based on at least one of i) detecting whether a threshold level of signal energy is received on the primary channel or ii) detecting whether a valid signal is received on the primary channel.

21. A communication device according to claim 15, wherein the network interface is configured to determine whether the primary channel is idle at least in part by i) transmitting a control frame on the primary channel, and ii) detecting whether a response frame is received on the primary channel.

22. A method of determining an available channel bandwidth in a communication system, wherein the communication system utilizes i) a set of component channels and ii) at least one channel of a set of access control channels for transmitting data streams, the method comprising:

determining which channels of the set of access control channels are idle, wherein each of the access control channels partially overlaps, in frequency, at least one of the component channels;

determining that a composite channel includes one or more channels of a set of channels, wherein the set of channels is chosen from i) the set of component channels and ii) the set of access control channels based at least on a determination of which of the access control channels are idle; and

causing a signal to be transmitted via the composite channel after determining that the composite channel includes one or more channels of a set of channels.

23. A method according to claim 22, wherein determining that the composite channel includes the one or more channels includes not permitting the composite channel to be coextensive with a first subset of one or more of the component channels.

24. A method according to claim 23, wherein:

determining that the composite channel includes the one or more channels further includes i) not permitting the composite channel to be coextensive with a second subset of one or more of the component channels, and ii) not permitting the composite channel to be coextensive with a third subset of one or more of the component channels, and

the first subset of component channels includes the second subset of component channels and the third subset of component channels.

25. A communication device, comprising:

a network interface configured to

determine which channels of a set of access control channels are idle, wherein each of the access control channels partially overlaps, in frequency, at least one channel of a set of component channels;

determine that a composite channel includes one or more channels of a set of channels, wherein the set of channels is chosen from i) the set of component channels and ii) the set of access control channels based at least on a determination of which of the access control channels are idle; and

cause a signal to be transmitted via the composite channel after determining that the composite channel includes one or more channels of a set of channels.

26. A communication device according to claim 25, wherein the network interface is configured to determine that the composite channel includes the one or more channels at least by not permitting the composite channel to be coextensive with a first subset of one or more of the component channels.

27. A communication device according to claim 26, wherein:

the network interface is configured to determine that the composite channel includes the one or more channels at least by further i) not permitting the composite channel to be

coextensive with a second subset of one or more of the component channels, and ii) not

permitting the composite channel to be coextensive with a third subset of one or more of the component channels, and

the first subset of component channels includes the second subset of component channels and the third subset of component channels.

28. A method of determining a set of communication channels for a first basic service set from at least i) a first set of channels and ii) a second set of channels, wherein each of at least some of the channels in the second set of channels partially overlaps, in frequency, at least one of the channels in the first set of channels, the method comprising:

determining whether the second set of channels is being utilized by a second basic service set;

determining that the set of communication channels for the first basic service set includes either i) the first set of channels or ii) the second set of channels based at least on a determination of whether the second set of channels is being utilized by the second basic service set.

29. A method according to claim 28, wherein determining that the set of

communication channels includes either the first set of channels or the second set of channels includes:

determining that the set of communication channels includes the second set of channels and does not include the first set of channels when it is determined that the second set of channels is being utilized by the second basic service set.

30. A method according to claim 28, wherein determining whether the second set of channels is being utilized by the second basic service set includes:

determining whether at least one channel of the second set of channels is being utilized by the second basic service set.

31. A method according to claim 28, wherein determining whether the second set of channels is being utilized by the second basic service set includes:

determining whether each channel of the second set of channels is being utilized by the second basic service set.

32. A method according to claim 28, wherein determining whether the second set of channels is being utilized by the second basic service set includes:

determining whether a signal energy on at least one channel of the second set of channels exceeds a threshold level.

33. A method according to claim 28, wherein determining whether the second set of channels is being utilized by the second basic service set includes:

determining whether a beacon frame is detected on at least one channel of the second set of channels.

34. A method according to claim 28, further comprising determining that a primary channel includes at least one channel of the set of communication channels.

35. A method according to claim 34, wherein:

determining whether the second set of channels is being utilized by the second basic service set includes determining which of one or more channels of the second set of channels are being utilized by the second basic service set; and

determining that the primary channel includes the at least one channel is based at least in part on a determination of which of the one or more channels are being utilized by the second basic service set.

36. A method according to claim 34, further comprising determining that a secondary channel includes at least one other channel of the set of communication channels.

37. A communication device capable of utilizing a first set of channels and a second set of channels for communications within a first basic service set, wherein each of at least some of the channels in the second set of channels partially overlaps, in frequency, at least one of the channels in the first set of channels, the communication device comprising:

a network interface configured to

determine whether the second set of channels is being utilized by a second basic service set, and

determine that a set of communication channels for the first basic service set includes either i) the first set of channels or ii) the second set of channels based at least on a determination of whether the second set of channels is being utilized by the second basic service set.

38. A communication device according to claim 37, wherein the network interface is configured to:

determine that the set of communication channels includes the second set of channels and does not include the first set of channels when the network interface determines that the second set of channels is being utilized by the second basic service set.

39. A communication device according to claim 37, wherein the network interface is configured to:

determine whether the second set of channels is being utilized by the second basic service set at least in part by determining whether at least one channel of the second set of channels is being utilized by the second basic service set.

40. A communication device according to claim 37, wherein the network interface is configured to:

determine whether the second set of channels is being utilized by the second basic service set at least in part by determining whether each channel of the second set of channels is being utilized by the second basic service set.

41. A communication device according to claim 37, wherein the network interface is configured to:

determine whether the second set of channels is being utilized by the second basic service set at least in part by determining whether a signal energy on at least one channel of the second set of channels exceeds a threshold level.

42. A communication device according to claim 37 wherein the network interface is configured to:

determine whether the second set of channels is being utilized by the second basic service set at least in part by determining whether a beacon frame is detected on at least one channel of the second set of channels.

43. A method of joining a basic service set service set that utilizes either a first set of channels or a second set of channels for communications, wherein each of at least some channels in the second set of channels partially overlaps, in frequency, at least one of the channels in the first set of channels, the method comprising:

determining that the first set of channels is being utilized by a first basic service set; determining that the second set of channels is being utilized by a second basic service set; joining a selected basic service set, wherein the selected basic service set is one of the first basic service set or the second basic service set, and wherein an unselected basic service set is a different one of the first basic service set or the second basic service set; and

reporting the unselected basic service set to a communication device in the selected basic service set.

44. A method according to claim 43, wherein:

the communication device is an access point device, and

reporting the unselected basic service set includes causing data indicating that the unselected basic service set exists to be transmitted to the access point device.

45. A method according to claim 43, wherein:

the communication device is an access point device, and

joining the selected basic service set includes exchanging information with the access point device.

46. A communication device capable of utilizing a first set of channels and a second set of channels for communications, wherein each of at least some of the channels in the second set of channels partially overlaps, in frequency, at least one of the channels in the first set of channels, the communication device comprising:

a network interface configured to

determine that the first set of channels is being utilized by a first basic service set, determine that the second set of channels is being utilized by a second basic service set,

join a selected basic service set, wherein the selected basic service set is one of the first basic service set or the second basic service set, and wherein an unselected basic service set is a different one of the first basic service set or the second basic service set, and

report the unselected basic service set to a different communication device in the selected basic service set.

47. A communication device according to claim 46, wherein:

the different communication device is an access point device, and

the network interface is configured to report the unselected basic service set at least in part by causing data indicating that the unselected basic service set exists to be transmitted to the access point device.