Voice call quality using 802.11e on a wireless mesh network
van Geyn, David Alexander
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Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) provide an affordable solution for last mile network access. They also allow for extension of a network by configuring a Wireless Mesh Network (WMN) where it may otherwise be physically infeasible or cost prohibitive to do so. With the increasing use of real-time applications such as video conferencing and Voice over IP (VoIP), networks are stressed to guarantee Quality of Service (QoS) requirements for these applications. Examples of key requirements include bounded delay and packet loss ratios. Addressing this issue in WLANs, the IEEE 802.11e amendment was proposed to provide a QoS mechanism. However, the performance of 802.11e in meshed environments is yet to be studied. In this work, we study VoIP call quality in a meshed environment with provisions for QoS. We study the call quality and throughput of background traffic in an experimental WMN testbed in order to test how well the IEEE 802.11e QoS provisions support voice calls. Call quality is tested in different configurations and scenarios. We study the effect of the number of wireless hops on VoIP call quality. In addition, we investigate the number of VoIP calls that can be supported simultaneously for different numbers of wireless hops. We also study how fairly the network treats different calls in different configurations. Then, we look at how much effective bandwidth a VoIP call uses on the network. Finally, we examine the VoIP call quality of different calls when calls have different QoS parameters and study the effect that a busy central node has on traffic passing through it. We provide suggestions to improve call quality on a WMN and hint at possible future work.