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The Problems With Microcell (1) How cochannel interference destroys microcell throughput

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  1. The Problems With Microcell (1)How cochannel interference destroys microcell throughput

  2. The Question What is it about microcell WLAN’s that have made so many WLAN administrators and end-users unhappy and frustrated?

  3. What happens:

  4. WLAN Operation X X AP

  5. Classic Cellular Operation BTS

  6. WLAN Operation X X AP

  7. Microcell Architecture – 3 channels 2.4 GHz Band AP AP AP

  8. Covering Floor 1 With WLAN 1 3 2 4 5 6 7 8 9

  9. But We Have Only 3 Frequencies 1 11 6 6 11 1 11 1 6

  10. Microcell Architecture: the ugly realityCells are actually a lot larger !! Cochannel interference zones A client transmitting in this zone quiets not only his AP, but also the neighboring AP. System throughput is lowered drastically. Lower rate transmissions travel far from the AP. 1 11 6 6 11 1 11 1 6

  11. The Reason: RF Energy propagation Radio Coverage: This is the area a client can hear an Access Point and reply successfully – Typically 10 Metres radius from the AP at 54 Mbps Range: The RF energy does not stop simply because the client and AP can no longer interpret the data, typical Range may be 2,000 meters Distance Radio Transmission Still Continues Client Connects @ 6 Mbps Client Connects @ 1 Mbps Client Connects @ 300 Mbps Client Connects @ 54 Mbps

  12. Microcell Architecture: the ugly realityCells are actually a lot larger !! Cochannel interference zones A client transmitting in this zone quiets not only his AP, but also the neighboring AP. System throughput is lowered drastically. Lower rate transmissions travel far from the AP. 1 11 6 6 11 1 11 1 6

  13. So Instead of This…. 1 3 2 4 5 6 7 8 9

  14. We’re Back To This… Or worse… AP AP AP

  15. Actual microcell throughput is up to 70% lower than expected due to cochannel interference Conclusion

  16. And If You Try To Spread Out the Cells To Lower The Interference… 1 11 6 You get coverage holes 6 11 1 11 1 6

  17. And lower air rates Most of the coverage area now has the lower air rates 1 11 6 Making the situation even worse, the users inside the high rate areas need to wait for those outside to finish transmitting. Throughput is reduced even further. 6 11 1 So most users get the lower rates, and lower throughput. 11 1 6

  18. And If You Try To Spread Out the Cells There Is A 2nd Impact: Most of the coverage area now has the lower air rates 1 11 6 Making the situation even worse, the users inside the high rate areas need to wait for those outside to finish transmitting. Throughput is reduced even further. 6 11 1 So most users get the lower rates, and lower throughput. 11 1 6

  19. Microcell Architecture: roaming hell Every time the unit changes cells, the call drops! 1 11 6 Mobile device must cross several cells as it moves across the floor. 6 11 1 11 1 6 Disconnect From AP on Channel 6 Request to join AP on Channel 1 Authenticate with central Radius Connect and start recovering data

  20. Cochannel Interference and Cell Planning: Even Worse With 802.11n 802.11n RF patterns are spikey, less predictable

  21. How the competition Tries To Fix The Inherent Problems of Microcell Architecture Its Band aid Time…. • Bandaid #1 TPC • Transmission power control: does not work so well, • There is a fundamental hole in the solution: clients do not alter their power!! • Bandaid #2: Dynamic Channel Assignment • Disconnects any VoIP calls in progress • Sometimes chooses wrong channel, increasing cochannel interference

  22. Cisco RRM: 2.4 GHz case study RF Experts went into an office and tested RRM. For some reason, instead of choosing channels 1,6,11, RRM chose channels 1,7,11 and also put two channel 7 cells next to each other. End result might have looked something like this: Some interference between lobes of 7 and 11 Cochannel interference between adjacent cells on same channel 7 1 7 11 11 1 Classic cochannel interference between nearby cells on same channel (unavoidable in microcell architecture) 7 11 1

  23. Other Attempts To Fix The Inherent Problems of Microcell Architecture • Bandaid #3: Beamforming • a/b/g only • Independent tests showed no significant impact to throughput • Clients can’t beamform, so when they transmit it’s omnidirectional • Bandaid #4: 802.11k • Attempts to enhance ability of AP’s to hear each other • Not very effective as number of AP’s and AP density increases: algorithm does not scale well. • Bandaid #5: 802.11r • Attempts to fix the inherent roaming problem of microcell architecture • Not a very big success. • Bandaid #6 802.11e (WMM) • Can cause dropped VoIP calls

  24. Netronics: we don’t like band aid solutionsSo we changed the architecture to this: 11 11 11 Channel Blanket Architecture 11 11 11 11 11 11

  25. Can Group Cells As Close As Needed Benefits: 11 11 11 1. Gapless Coverage 2. Higher throughput, since more users are in higher air rate areas (closer to AP’s) 3. Seamless roaming: no more handoffs! 11 11 11 11 11 11

  26. Avoiding A Single Collision DomainStack the Channel BlanketsFor Bandwidth Multiplication Biproduct: built-in quality of service (segregate traffic type per blanket)

  27. Dividing A Single Collision DomainTrue reuse, for even more bandwidth 11 11 11 11 11 11 NetGlide switch can transmit to 3 clients on same channel simultaneously when those clients are out of range of each other Bandwidth is multiplied even further 11 11 11

  28. Built-in Uplink Diversity Client signal is transmitted to switch by the AP’s that hear it. Switch takes care of redundant packets Uplink redundancy ideal for highly mobile, mission critical environments like logistics and healthcare 11 11 11 Uplink redundancy does not exist in microcell architectures. In microcell, only one AP can receive client’s transmissions. 11 11 11 11 11 11

  29. Cisco AP’s: Need A Controller • Cisco AP’s (even though they are layer 3 devices) cannot function independently in an enterprise setting. • The Cisco AP’s do not have computing resources for filtering, policy enforcement, authentication, encryption, that enterprises must activate to be secure (ie. WPA2) • Inherent RF problems of microcell architecture require controller-based monitoring and control of RF environment • Requires communication between access points and Cisco wireless controller(s) + Cisco WCS (Wireless Control Management System) • Provides access point device discovery, information exchange, and configuration • Provides access point certification and software control • Packet encapsulation (L2 mode) and tunneling (L3 mode)

  30. Cisco Lightweight Access Point Protocol (LWAPP) • What it does? • Reduces amount of processing within access points, freeing up their computing resources to focus exclusively on wireless instead of filtering and policy enforcement • Enable centralized traffic handling, authentication, encryption, and policy enforcement for an entire WLAN system • Provide a generic encapsulation and transport mechanism for multivendor access point interoperability, using either a Layer 2 infrastructure or an IP-routed network • How? • Requires communication between access points and Cisco wireless controller(s) + Cisco WCS (Wireless Control Management System) • Provides access point device discovery, information exchange, and configuration • Provides access point certification and software control • Packet encapsulation (L2 mode) and tunneling (L3 mode) • Aironet 1250 can automatically detect best available controller

  31. The LWAPP Problem: Heavy traffic between AP’s and controller is driven into the layer 3 cloud

  32. Thank you www.netronics-networks.com