IEEE 802.11ah, marketed as Wi-Fi HaLow, extends Wi-Fi to the sub-1 GHz spectrum. Through a number of physical layer (PHY) and media access control (MAC) optimizations, it aims to bring greatly increased range, energy-efficiency, and scalability. This makes 802.11ah the perfect candidate for providing connectivity to Internet of Things (IoT) devices. One of these new features, referred to as the Restricted Access Window (RAW), focuses on improving scalability in highly dense deployments. RAW divides stations into groups and reduces contention and collisions by only allowing channel access to one group at a time. However, the standard does not dictate how to determine the optimal RAW grouping parameters. The optimal parameters depend on the current network conditions, and it has been shown that incorrect configuration severely impacts throughput, latency and energy efficiency. In this paper, we propose a traffic-adaptive RAW optimization algorithm (TAROA) to adapt the RAW parameters in real time based on the current traffic conditions, optimized for sensor networks in which each sensor transmits packets with a certain (predictable) frequency and may change the transmission frequency over time. The TAROA algorithm is executed at each target beacon transmission time (TBTT), and it first estimates the packet transmission interval of each station only based on packet transmission information obtained by access point (AP) during the last beacon interval. Then, TAROA determines the RAW parameters and assigns stations to RAW slots based on this estimated transmission frequency. The simulation results show that, compared to enhanced distributed channel access/distributed coordination function (EDCA/DCF), the TAROA algorithm can highly improve the performance of IEEE 802.11ah dense networks in terms of throughput, especially when hidden nodes exist, although it does not always achieve better latency performance. This paper contributes with a practical approach to optimizing RAW grouping under dynamic traffic in real time, which is a major leap towards applying RAW mechanism in real-life IoT networks.
IEEE802.11ah is a new Wi-Fi standard aiming to provide long-range connectivity to densely deployed power-constrained station. In this abstract, we present an extension to the IEEE 802.11ah restricted access window (RAW) implementation in ns-3 to enable proper state transitions to and from sleep mode. This in turn enables accurate energy consumption modeling of this new technology. A comparison of RAW and CSMA/CA in terms of energy efficiency is provided, showing that RAW is considerably more energy efficient, due to shorter back-o periods.
LoRa is a long-range, low power, low bit rate and single-hop wireless communication technology. It is intended to be used in Internet of Things (IoT) applications involving battery-powered devices with low throughput requirements. A LoRaWAN network consists of multiple end nodes that communicate with one or more gateways. These gateways act like a transparent bridge towards a common network server. The amount of end devices and their throughput requirements will have an impact on the performance of the LoRaWAN network. This study investigates the scalability in terms of the number of end devices per gateway of single-gateway LoRaWAN deployments. First, we determine the intra-technology interference behavior with two physical end nodes, by checking the impact of an interfering node on a transmitting node. Measurements show that even under concurrent transmission, one of the packets can be received under certain conditions. Based on these measurements, we create a simulation model for assessing the scalability of a single gateway LoRaWAN network. We show that when the number of nodes increases up to 1000 per gateway, the losses will be up to 32%. In such a case, pure Aloha will have around 90% losses. However, when the duty cycle of the application layer becomes lower than the allowed radio duty cycle of 1%, losses will be even lower. We also show network scalability simulation results for some IoT use cases based on real data.
The IoT domain is characterized by many applications that require low-bandwidth communications over a long range, at a low cost and at low power. Low power wide area networks (LPWANs) fulfill these requirements by using sub-GHz radio frequencies (typically 433 or 868 MHz) with typical transmission ranges in the order of 1 up to 50 km. As a result, a single base station can cover large areas and can support high numbers of connected devices (>1000 per base station). Notorious initiatives in this domain are LoRa, Sigfox and the upcoming IEEE 802.11ah (or “HaLow”) standard. Although these new technologies have the potential to significantly impact many IoT deployments, the current market is very fragmented and many challenges exists related to deployment, scalability, management and coexistence aspects, making adoption of these technologies difficult for many companies. To remedy this, this paper proposes a conceptual framework to improve the performance of LPWAN networks through in-network optimization, cross-technology coexistence and cooperation and virtualization of management functions. In addition, the paper gives an overview of state of the art solutions and identifies open challenges for each of these aspects.