VoIPiggy: Analysis and Implementation of a Mechanism to Boost Capacity in IEEE 802.11 WLANs Carrying VoIP traffic
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Handling voice traffic in existing WLANs is extremely inefficient, due to the large overhead of the protocol operation as well as the time spent in contention. In this paper, we propose a simple scheme (VoIPiggy) to improve the efficiency of WLANs with voice traffic. The key idea of the mechanism is to piggyback voice frames onto the MAC layer acknowledgments, which reduces both the frame overhead and the time wasted in contention. To quantify the gains of our proposal, we first study its performance by means of a capacity and delay analysis of a WLAN operating under the VoIPiggy mechanism. Then, we present an implementation of the mechanism using commercial off-the-shelf devices, which involves programming at the driver and firmware levels. The performance of the proposed scheme is evaluated in a large-scale testbed consisting on 30 devices. Our extensive measurements, which comprise different network conditions in terms of number of active nodes, traffic load and transmission rates, confirm that the experimental results match the analytical ones, and show a dramatic performance improvement for both "voice only" and "voice and data" scenarios.