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EPL476 Mobile Networks Fall 2009

Wireless Technology Fundamentals

Instructor: Dr. Vasos Vassiliou

Slides adapted from Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jochen H. Schiller and W. Stallings

Sensor networks are another form of infrastructureless network, with many similarities to ad-hock

Fundamental concepts in wireless networks

Sharing Resources

concepts (reuse resources) WLAN (shared space) Adhoc (shared resources) Sensor (shared resources, large space)

What is a Cell?
Cell is the Basic Union in The System defined as the area where radio coverage is given by one base station. A cell has one or several frequencies, depending

on traffic load.

Fundamental idea: Frequencies are reused, but not in neighboring cells due to interference.

Cell characteristics
Implements space division multiplex: base station

covers a certain transmission area (cell) Mobile stations communicate only via the base station Advantages of cell structures:

Problems: fixed network needed for the base stations handover (changing from one cell to another) necessary interference with other cells Cell sizes from some 100 m in cities to, e.g., 35 km

higher capacity, higher number of users less transmission power needed more robust, decentralized base station deals with interference, transmission area etc. locally

on the country side (GSM) - even less for higher frequencies

Different Types of Cells

Cell Planning (1/3)

The K factor and Frequency Re-Use Distance
7 K= i2 + ij + j2 6 1 5 j 7 6 5 4 Frequency re-use distance is based on the cluster size K 1 3 R i D 2

K = 22 + 2*1 + 12
K=4+2+1 K=7

3K * R

D = 4.58R

The cluster size is specified in terms of the offset of the center of a cluster from the center of the adjacent cluster

Cell Planning (2/3)

7-cell reuse pattern A3 A1 A2 B3 C3 C1 C2

G1 G3 G2 F3

A1 A3 A2

G3 B3 B1 B2 D1 D2 F3

G1 G2 F1 F2

B1 B2


E3 E1 E2

F1 F2

C2 E1 E2


D1 D2


Frequency reuse

Cell Planning (3/3)

Cell sectoring

Cell splitting

Directional antennas subdivide cell into 3 or 6 sectors Might also increase cell capacity by factor of 3 or 6 Decrease transmission power in base and mobile Results in more and smaller cells Reuse frequencies in non-contiguous cell groups Example: cell radius leads 4 fold capacity increase

Hierarchical Cell Structures (HCS) (1/2)

HCS allows traffic to be directed to a preferred

cell Each cell is defined in a particular layer The lower the layer, the higher the priority

Mobiles will select a cell on the lowest layer as long as it has sufficient signal strength, even if higher layer cell are stronger

WLAN: Definition
A fast-growing market introducing the

flexibility of wireless access into office, home, or production environments. Typically restricted in their diameter to buildings, a campus, single rooms etc. The global goal of WLANs is to replace

office cabling and, additionally, to introduce a higher flexibility for ad hoc communication in, e.g., group meetings.

WLAN: Characteristics


very flexible within radio coverage ad-hoc networks without previous planning possible wireless networks allow for the design of small, independent devices more robust against disasters (e.g., earthquakes, fire)

typically very low bandwidth compared to wired networks (~11 54 Mbit/s) due to limitations in radio transmission, higher error rates due to interference, and higher delay/delay variation due to extensive error correction and error detection mechanisms
many proprietary solutions offered by companies, especially for higher bit-rates, standards take their time (e.g., IEEE 802.11) slow standardization procedures
offer lower QoS

products have to follow many national restrictions if working wireless, it takes a very long time to establish global solutions

standardized functionality plus many enhanced features these additional features only work in a homogeneous environment (i.e., when adapters from the same vendors are used for all wireless nodes)

WLAN: Design goals

global, seamless operation of WLAN products low power for battery use (special power saving modes

and power management functions) no special permissions or licenses needed (license-free band) robust transmission technology simplified spontaneous cooperation at meetings easy to use for everyone, simple management protection of investment in wired networks (support the same data types and services) security no one should be able to read others data, privacy no one should be able to collect user profiles, safety low radiation transparency concerning applications and higher layer protocols, but also location awareness if necessary

WLAN: Technology Overview

Core technologies (IEEE 802.1x family)

IEEE 802.11 (Wireless LAN)

IEEE 802.15 (Wireless PAN Bluetooth) IEEE 802.16 (Wireless M(etropolitan) AN) Under development

Facilitating technologies




WLAN: Technology
Can be categorized according to the

transmission technique being used

Infrared (IR) LANs: Very limited coverage area (IR cant penetrate walls!)

Spread Spectrum LANs: Operate in industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) bands
Narrowband Microwave LANS: Operate at microwave frequencies but not using spread spectrum (in licensing or ISM bands)

WLAN: infrared vs. radio transmission



uses IR diodes, diffuse light, multiple reflections (walls, furniture etc.) simple, cheap, available in many mobile devices no licenses needed simple shielding possible


typically using the license free ISM band at 2.4 GHz



experience from wireless WAN and mobile phones can be used coverage of larger areas possible (radio can penetrate walls, furniture etc.)

interference by sunlight, heat sources etc. many things shield or absorb IR light low bandwidth
IrDA (Infrared Data Association) interface available everywhere



very limited license free frequency bands shielding more difficult, interference with other electrical devices


WaveLAN, HIPERLAN, Bluetooth

WLAN: Spread Spectrum

Most popular category!

Spread Spectrum Communications

Developed initially for military and intelligence requirements Essential idea: Spread the information signal over a wider bandwidth to make jamming and interception more difficult
Frequency hopping
Direct sequence spread spectrum

WLAN: infrastructure vs. ad-hoc networks

infrastructure network
AP AP wired network AP: Access Point AP

ad-hoc network

WLAN: Infrastructure-based networks

Infrastructure networks provide access to other networks. Communication typically takes place only between the wireless nodes

and the access point, but not directly between the wireless nodes. The access point does not just control medium access, but also acts as a bridge to other wireless or wired networks. Several wireless networks may form one logical wireless network:

Network functionality lies within the access point (controls network

The access points together with the fixed network in between can connect several wireless networks to form a larger network beyond actual radio coverage.

flow), whereas the wireless clients can remain quite simple. Use different access schemes with or without collision.

Collisions may occur if medium access of the wireless nodes and the access point is not coordinated.

If only the access point controls medium access, no collisions are possible.
Useful for quality of service guarantees (e.g., minimum bandwidth for certain nodes) The access point may poll the single wireless nodes to ensure the data rate.

Infrastructure-based wireless networks lose some of the flexibility

wireless networks can offer in general:

They cannot be used for disaster relief in cases where no infrastructure is left.

WLAN: ad-hoc networks

No need of any infrastructure to work Each node communicate with other nodes, so no access point

greatest possible flexibility

controlling medium access is necessary.

The complexity of each node is higher

Nodes within an ad-hoc network can only communicate if they

implement medium access mechanisms, forwarding data

can reach each other physically

if they are within each others radio range if other nodes can forward the message

WLAN: Standards
Wireles s LAN 2.4 GHz 5 GHz

(2 Mbps)

(11 Mbps)

(22-54 Mbps)

(54 Mbps)

(54 Mbps)

HiperLAN 2
(54 Mbps)

HomeRF 2.0
(10 Mbps)

(1 Mbps)

HomeRF 1.0
(2 Mbps)






WLAN: Standards (ii)

IEEE 802.11 and HiperLAN2 are typically infrastructure-

based networks, which additionally support ad-hoc networking Bluetooth is a typical wireless ad-hoc network
IEEE 802.11b offering 11 Mbit/s at 2.4 GHz The same radio spectrum is used by Bluetooth

IEEE released a new WLAN standard, 802.11a, operating at 5

A short-range technology to set-up wireless personal area networks with gross data rates less than 1 Mbit/s

GHz and offering gross data rates of 54 Mbit/s

Shading is much more severe compared to 2.4 GHz Depending on the SNR, propagation conditions and the distance between sender and receiver, data rates may drop fast

uses the same physical layer as HiperLAN2 does

HiperLAN2 tries to give QoS guarantees

IEEE 802.11g offering up to 54 Mbit/s at 2.4 GHz.

Benefits from the better propagation characteristics at 2.4 GHz compared to 5 GHz
Backward compatible to 802.11b

IEEE 802.11e: MAC enhancements for providing some QoS

Ad Hoc Networks: Definition

A network made up exclusively of wireless

nodes without any access points operating in peer-to-peer configuration, grouped together in a temporary manner.

Ad Hoc Networks: Some Features

Lack of a centralized entity

All the communication is carried over the

wireless medium Rapid mobile host movements Limited wireless bandwidth Limited battery power Multi-hop routing

Ad Hoc Networks: Operation


link Adjustable power level Directional antenna GPS

Operation Broadcasting Routing Multicasting

Ad Hoc Networks: Challenges (i)

Hidden terminal problem A A transmits to B C wants transmits to B C does not hear As transmission Collision Exposed terminal problem B transmits to A C wants to transmit to D A C hear Bs transmission Unnecessarily deferred

Ad Hoc Networks: Challenges (ii)


Scalability Power

Minimizing power consumption during the idle time Minimizing power consumption during communication

End to End delay Bandwidth management Probability of packet loss

Ad Hoc Networks: Broadcast (i)


a particular host sending an alarm signal finding a route to a particular host

Two types: Be notified -> topology change Be shortest -> finding route A simple mechanism: Flooding Suffer from broadcast storm

Ad Hoc Networks: Broadcast (ii)

5 forwarding nodes 4 hop time 6 forwarding nodes 3 hop time



Be notified

Be shortest

Ad Hoc Networks: Routing

Table Driven vs. On Demand Hierarchical and Hybrid




Specific assumption


Unidirectional link, Directional antenna, GPS Power, Delay, Bandwidth

Ad Hoc Networks: Multicast


delay to send a packet to each destination The number of nodes that is concerned in multicast The number of forwarding nodes

Sensor Networks: Definition

A sensor network is a collection of

collaborating sensor nodes (ad hoc tiny nodes with sensor capabilities) forming a temporary network without the aid of any central administration or support services.

Sensor nodes can collect, process, analyze and disseminate data in order to provide access to information anytime and anywhere.

Sensor Networks: Some Features

Large number of sensors

Low energy use

Efficient use of the small memory Data aggregation Network self-organization Collaborative signal processing Querying ability

Sensor Networks: Operation

Sensors work in clusters

Each cluster assigns a cluster head to manage

its sensors Three layers

To compensate for hardware limitations (e.g.

Services layer Data layer Physical Layer

memory, battery, computational power):

Applications deploy a large number of sensor nodes in the targeted region.

Sensor Networks: Challenges (i)

Hardware design

Communication protocols
Applications design Extending the lifetime of a sensor network Building an intelligent data collecting

system Topology changes very frequently Sensors are very limited in power Sensors are very prone to failures

Sensor Networks: Challenges (ii)

Sensors use a broadcast paradigm

networks are based on point to point communication

Sensors may not have a global

identification (ID)

Very large overhead

Dynamic environmental conditions require

the system to adapt over time to changing connectivity and system stimuli

Sensor Networks: Aggregation

Some sensor nodes are designed to

aggregate data received from their neighbors. Aggregator nodes cache, process and filter data to more meaningful information. Aggregation is useful because:
Increased circle of knowledge Increased accuracy level Data redundancy

To compensate for sensor nodes failing

Sensor Networks: Dissemination

Two ways for data dissemination: Query driven: sink broadcasts one query and sensor nodes send back a report in response Continuous update: sink node broadcasts one query and receives continuous updates in response (more energy consuming but more accurate) Problems: Intermediate nodes failing to forward a message Finding the shortest path (a routing protocol) Redundancy: a sensor may receive the same data packet more than once.

Sensor Networks: Advantages

Coverage of a very large area through the

scattering of thousands of sensors. Failure of individual sensors has no major impact on the overall network. Minimize human intervention and management. Work in hostile and unattended environments. Dynamically react to changing network conditions.

E.g. Maintain connectivity in case of unexpected movement of the sensor nodes.