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A great number of Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) based applications, which are telecommunication areas with the highest foreseen growth in the future years, require energy efficient, long range and low data rate wireless communication links. In order to offer a competitive solution in these areas, IEEE 802.11 standardization group has defined the “ah” amendment, the first sub-1 GHz WLAN standard, with flexible channel bandwidths, starting from 1 MHz, up to 16 MHz, and many other physical and link layer improvements, enabling long-range and energy efficient communications. However, for some regions, like Europe, the maximum transmitted power in dedicated frequency band is limited to only 10 mW, thus disabling the achievement of ranges which would be close to targeted of up to 1 km. In this paper we examine possibilities for range extension through implementation of half-duplex decode-and forward (DF) relay station (RS) in communication between an access point (AP) and an end-station (ST). Assuming a Rician fading channel between AP and RS, and a Rayleigh fading channel on RS–ST link, we analytically derive results on achievable ranges for the most robust modulation and coding schemes (MCSs), both on downlink (DL) and uplink (UL). Analyses are performed for two different standard adopted deployment scenarios on RS–ST link, and variable end-to-end link outage probabilities. Moreover, we have analyzed whether the considered most robust MCSs, known for supporting the longest range, but the lowest data rates, can meet the defined requirement of at least 100 kb/s for the greatest attainable AP–RS–ST distances. We examine data rate enhancements, brought by coding and using of short packets, for both DL and UL. Finally, we present bit error rate results, obtained through simulations, of a dual-hop DF IEEE 802.11ah relay system for the considered MCs. All presented results confirm that IEEE 802.11ah systems through deployment of relay stations, become an interesting solution for M2M and IoT based applications, due to flexibility they offer in many aspects, meeting requirements for wide transmission ranges in such applications.
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- Range Extension in IEEE 802.11ah Systems Through Relaying
- Springer US