Performance analysis of IoT-enabling IEEE 802.11ah technology and its RAW mechanism with non-cross slot boundary holding schemes

IEEE 802.11ah task group is working on a new amendment of the IEEE 802.11 standard, suitable for high density WLAN networks in the sub 1 GHz band. It is expected to be the prevalent standard in many Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine to Machine (M2M) applications where it will support long-range and energy-efficient communication in dense network environments. Therefore, significant changes in the legacy 802.11 standards have been proposed to improve the network performance in high contention scenarios, most important of which is the Restricted Access Window (RAW) mechanism described in the amendment.

In this paper we analyze the performance of the RAW mechanism in the Non-Cross Slot Boundary case under various possible holding schemes. We propose new holding schemes as well as a new grouping scheme for RAW mechanism based on back-off states of the stations. The proposed schemes are shown to improve the saturation throughput and energy efficiency of the network through extensive simulations. These schemes can therefore be adapted in practical deployment scenarios of the IEEE 802.11ah use cases to improve the overall network performance. Overall, these advanced features make 802.11ah standard a true IoT-enabling technology towards seamless integration of massive amount of connected devices in the future.