Wireless mesh networking (WMN) is regarded as a low-cost technology for rapid wireless network deployment. However, in a single-channel WMN, the overlapped transmission ranges between relaying mesh points could introduce serious interference. Using multiple radios over multiple channels can decrease the interference and improve the capacity of a WMN, but it increases the cost of a mesh point. One possible solution to balance between interference, hence performance, and cost is utilizing fewer radios that switch among multiple channels instead of using per-channel radios. In this paper, we propose a channel-switching method, called the traffic-aware switching scheme (TRASS), for a mesh point with a limited number of radios. TRASS utilizes the existing IEEE 802.11 mechanisms, i.e., hybrid-coordination-function-controlled channel access and power saving, to avoid packet loss during channel switching. A TRASS mesh point monitors the occupied channel time to schedule radios that switch among channels. The implemented TRASS demonstrates 75% throughput improvement by (2, 1), i.e., two-channel single-radio, over (1, 1). (3, 2) and (3, 1) achieve 69.8% and 39.7%, respectively, of the throughput of (3, 3) in the simulated TRASS.
- Channel switching
- IEEE 802.11s
- wireless local area networks (WLANs)
- wireless mesh network (WMN)