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Addressing MAC layer inefficiency and deafness of IEEE802.11ad millimeter wave networks using a multi-band approach

: Sim, G.H.; Nitsche, T.; Widmer, J.C.


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers -IEEE-:
IEEE 27th Annual International Symposium on Personal, Indoor, and Mobile Radio Communications, PIMRC 2016 : 4-8 September 2016, Valencia
Piscataway, NJ: IEEE, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-5090-3254-9
ISBN: 978-1-5090-3255-6
6 pp.
International Symposium on Personal, Indoor, and Mobile Radio Communications (PIMRC) <27, 2016, Valencia>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer ESK ()

Achieving multi-gigabit per second data rates, millimeter wave communication promises to accommodate future and current demands for very high speed wireless data transmission. However, the mandatory use of directional antennas brings significant challenges for the design of efficient MAC layer mechanisms. In particular, IEEE 802.11ad for the 60 GHz band lacks omni-directional transmissions and carrier sensing. This prevents stations from overhearing the actions of other stations, the so called 'deafness' problem, which substantially impairs the efficiency and fairness of CSMA/CA medium access. Most existing solutions to this problem depend on properties of lower frequency bands and thus do not apply to 60 GHz. In this paper, we propose a dual-band MAC protocol combining 60 GHz communication with co-existing 5 GHz interfaces. By broadcasting control messages on 5 GHz frequencies, we solve the deafness problem and can use the 60 GHz band exclusively for high rate data transmission. While our approach occupies air time on the 5 GHz band for control messages, it does achieve a net throughput gain (over both bands) of up to 65.3% compared to IEEE 802.11ad. In addition, our simulation results show an improvement of MAC fairness of up to 42.8% over IEEE 802.11ad.