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A near-me area network (NAN) is a "communication network that focuses on "wireless communication among devices in close proximity.

Unlike "local area networks (LANs), in which the devices are in the same network segment and share the same "broadcast domain, the devices in a NAN can belong to different proprietary network infrastructures (for example, different mobile carriers). So, even though two devices are geographically close, the communication path between them might, in fact, traverse a long distance, going from a LAN, through the "Internet, and to another LAN.

NAN applications focus on two-way communications among devices within a certain proximity to each other, but don't generally concern themselves with the devices' exact locations.



The "Internet employs many different types of communication networks. A "local area network (LAN) covers a small geographic area, such as a school or company; a "metropolitan area network (MAN) usually spans a larger area, such as a city or state, whereas a "wide area network (WAN) provides communication in a broad geographic area covering national and international locations. "Personal area networks (PANs) are wireless LANs with a very short range (up to a few meters), enabling computer devices (such as PDAs and printers) to communicate with other nearby devices and computers. Due to the increasing popularity of location-enabled (or "GPS-enabled) mobile devices (e.g., "iPhone and "Android phones), a new type of communication network is emerging—the near-me area network (NAN).

Examples of applications[edit]

Some services are meaningful only to a group of people in close proximity, which has generated the need for NANs. The following scenarios show some example NAN applications:

See also[edit]


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