Wireless Networks

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 87–104 | Cite as

Evaluation of IEEE 802.11 coexistence in WLAN deployments

  • Elena Lopez-AguileraEmail author
  • Eduard Garcia-Villegas
  • Jordi Casademont


Wi-Fi has become a successful technology since the publication of its first WLAN standard due to continuous advances and updates while remaining always backwards compatible. Backwards compatibility among subsequent standards is an important feature in order to take advantage of previous equipment when publishing a new amendment. At present, IEEE 802.11b support is still mandatory to obtain the Wi-Fi certification. However, there are several harmful effects of allowing old legacy IEEE 802.11b transmissions in modern WLAN deployments. Lower throughput per device is obtained at slow rates, but also the effect known as performance anomaly, which nearly leads to starvation of fast stations, has to be taken into account. Finally, backwards compatibility mechanisms pose an important penalty in throughput performance for newer specifications. This paper presents a thorough analysis of the current state of IEEE 802.11, comparing coverage range and throughput performance among subsequent amendments, and focusing on the drawbacks and benefits of including protection mechanisms.


WLAN IEEE 802.11 Coexistence Backwards compatibility 



This work has been supported in part by the ERDF and the Spanish Government through project TEC2016-79988-P, AEI/FEDER, UE.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya – BarcelonaTechBarcelonaSpain

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