Performance analysis of IEEE 802.11ac wireless backhaul networks in saturated conditions

TitlePerformance analysis of IEEE 802.11ac wireless backhaul networks in saturated conditions
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
Refereed DesignationRefereed
AuthorsR. Liao, B. Bellalta, J. Barceló, V. Valls, and M. Oliver
JournalEURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking
Date Published09/2013
KeywordsIEEE 802.11ac, MAC, MU-MIMO, Saturation Throughput, Wireless Mesh Backhaul Networks
According to the ongoing IEEE 802.11ac amendment, the wireless network is about to embrace the gigabit-per-second raw data rate. Compared with previous IEEE standards, this significant performance improvement can be attributed to the novel Physical (PHY) and Medium Access Control (MAC) features, such as Multi-user Multiple-input Multiple-output (MU-MIMO) transmissions, the frame aggregation and the channel bonding. In this paper, we first briefly survey the main features of IEEE 802.11ac; and then, we evaluate these new features in a fully-connected wireless mesh network using an analytic model and simulations. More specifically, the performance of the MAC scheme defined by the IEEE 802.11ac, which employs the Explicit Compressed Feedback (ECFB) mechanism for the channel sounding, is evaluated. In addition, we propose an extended Request-to-Send/Clear-to-Send (RTS/CTS) scheme that integrates the ECFB operation to compare with the IEEE 802.11ac defined one in saturated conditions. The comparison of the two MAC schemes is conducted through three spatial-stream allocation algorithms. A simple but accurate analytical model is derived for the two MAC schemes, the results of which are validated with simulations. The observations of the results not only reveal the importance of the spatial-stream allocations but also provide insight into how the newly introduced features could affect the performance of IEEE 802.11ac-based wireless mesh networks.