A virtual stream (VS) in a basic service set (BSS) in a wireless local area network (WLAN) that exists solely within the medium access control (MAC) sublayer of the WLAN. The VS includes a unidirectional path in the wireless network between a station sourcing a quality of service (QoS) session and at least one station receiving the QoS session in the same BSS. The VS is defined by a VS identifier (VSID) that is unique within and local to the BSS, an address of the sourcing station, and an address of the at least one receiving station. The VS can be a virtual down-stream (VDS), a virtual up-stream (VUS) or a virtual side-stream (VSS). The VS can be a unitcast or a multicast VS.