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1. WO2004098108 - PROCEDE ET APPAREIL DE DISSOCIATION AISEE DE STATIONS ET DE POINTS D'ACCES DANS UN RESEAU LOCAL SANS FIL (WLAN 802.11)

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CLAIMS:

1. A method of providing warning to a station (STA) associated with an Access Point (AP) in a WLAN that a disassociation the AP is imminent, comprising the steps of:
(a) selecting a station (STA) for disassociation from a particular Access Point (AP) of a WLAN;
(b) updating a reason code field of a message to indicate the selected station that has become a candidate for disassociation;
(c) transmitting the message updated in step (b) to the selected station.

2. The method according to claim 1, wherein the message updated in step (b) is a measurement request frame.

3. The method according to claim 1, wherein the message updated in step (b) is a site report response message.

4. The method according to claim 2, wherein the measurement request frame is updated by including a numerical value in a reason code field that identifies the STA as a disassociation candidate, wherein the value is selected from a plurality of possible values, with each value corresponding to a particular reason for notifying the STA.

5. The method according to claim 3, wherein site report response message is updated by including a numerical value in a reason code field that identifies the STA as a disassociation candidate, wherein the value is selected from a plurality of possible values, with each value corresponding to a particular reason for notifying the STA.

6. The method according to claim 2, wherein the method includes identifying in an activation delay field of the measurement request frame an indication of a time period in which disassociation will occur. .

7. The method according to claim 3, wherein the method includes identifying in an activation delay field of the measurement request frame an indication of a time period in which disassociation will occur.

8. The method according to claim 1, wherein the station (STA) selected in step (a) scans at least one Access Point other than said particular Access Point to find another AP to associate therewith.

9. The method according to claim 2, wherein the station (STA) selected in step (a) scans all of the Access Points in a list provided to the STA.

10. The method according to claim 3, wherein the station (STA) selected in step (a) scans all of the Access Points in a list provided to the STA by the site report response frame.

11. The method according to claim 1, wherein the WLAN recited in step (a) comprises an IEEE 802.11 local area network.

12. The method according to claim 1, further comprising:
(d) sending a Disassociation Action Frame to the selected STA to end communication with said particular Access Point.

13. A method of switching a station from a first Access Point to a second Access Point in a WLAN, comprising the steps of:
(a) receiving one of (i) a measurement request frame message; and (ii) a site report response message, the received message containing a reason code field indicating that a particular station STA has been selected for disassociation;
(b) scanning a plurality of Access Points to find another Access Point with which to associate;
(c) handing off from the first Access Point to a second Access Point that is selected for association.

14. The method according to claim 13, wherein the message received in step (a) includes an Activation Delay field used to indicate an amount of time before disassociation of the particular STA from the first Access Point will occur, wherein the Reason Code serves as a flag to indicate to the particular STA to read the contents of the Activation Delay field..

15. The method according to claim 13, wherein the message received in step (a) includes an Activation Delay field used to indicate an amount of time before disassociation of the particular STA from the first Access Point will occur, wherein the Reason Code serves as a flag to indicate to the particular STA to read the Activation Delay field.

16. An apparatus for switching a station STA from a first Access Point to a second Access Point in a WLAN, comprising:
a plurality of Access Points being adapted for communication with a server and for wireless communication with at least one station STA being adapted for wireless communication;
wherein each of said plurality of Access Points includes a module that updates a reason code field in one of (i) a measurement request message, and a (ii) site report response message to forewarn a selected STA that a disassociation from a first Access Point is imminent.

17. The apparatus according to claim 16, wherein the module also updates an Activation Field to indicate an amount of time before disassociation of the particular STA from the first Access Point will occur, wherein the reason code field serves as a flag to indicate to the particular STA to read the Activation Delay field.

18. The apparatus according to claim 17, wherein the module includes means for issuing a Disassociation Action Frame after a predetermined amount of time.

19. A computer program product having a computer readable medium to execute the following steps:
(a) selecting a station (STA) for disassociation from a particular Access Point (AP) of a WLAN;
(b) updating a reason code field of one of (i) a measurement report message; and (ii) a site report response message to indicate the selected station that has become a candidate for disassociation; and
(c) transmitting the message updated in step (b) to the selected station.

20. The computer program product according to claim 19 further comprising:
(d) sending a Disassociation Action Frame to the selected station after a predetermined amount of time.