NAV and foreign STAs

The Sybex CWAP 2011 study guide contains a gem regarding how different BSSs interact:

[with the exception of transmitter and receiver,] Any other client or AP stations within hearing range on the same channel will reset their NAV, even if they are nont members of the BSS.

Chapter 3 review questions, q.10, answer p.120

It is the first time I find it clearly stated that STAs contending through HCF or EDCA will abide to any information they can decode from received frames, regardless if they are from the same BSS or not.

This makes sense, because:

  • APs know the AID of the members of it’s BSS, but client STA don’t;
  • any STA (AP or client) does physical carrier sense SD when it decodes a preamble, and it is likely to also decode the header which contains a length field which is the time it will take to transmit the frame (in microsecs);
  • Therefore it’s logical to use a NAV if it can decode it.

Perhaps this should be put in the CWNA study guide explicitly.