Next generation IEEE 802.11 Wireless Local Area Networks: Current status, future directions and open challenges

Boris Bellalta, Luciano Bononi, Raffaele Bruno, Andreas Kassler
2016 Computer Communications  
new generation of Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) will make its appearance in the market in the forthcoming years based on the amendments to the IEEE 802.11 standards that have recently been approved or are under development. Examples of the most expected ones are IEEE 802.11aa (Robust Audio Video Transport Streaming), IEEE 802.11ac (Very-high throughput at < 6 GHz), IEEE 802.11af (TV White Spaces) and IEEE 802.11ah (Machine-to-Machine communications) specifications. The aim of this survey
more » ... is to provide a comprehensive overview of these novel technical features and the related open technical challenges that will drive the future WLAN evolution. In contrast to other IEEE 802.11 surveys, this is a use case oriented study. Specifically, we first describe the three key scenarios in which next-generation WLANs will have to operate. We then review the most relevant amendments for each of these use cases focusing on the additional functionalities and the new technologies they include, such as multi-user MIMO techniques, groupcast communications, dynamic channel bonding, spectrum databases and channel sensing, enhanced power saving mechanisms and efficient small data transmissions. We also discuss the related work to highlight the key issues that must still be addressed. Finally, we review emerging trends that can influence the design of future WLANs, with special focus on software-defined MACs and the internet-working with cellular systems.
doi:10.1016/j.comcom.2015.10.007 fatcat:fqyw73iqbbfmvcpyawnkfkakt4