OFDMA-based medium access control for next-generation WLANs

Hussein Alnuweiri, Y. Pourmohammadi Fallah, P. Nasiopoulos, S. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)


Existing medium access control (MAC) schemes for wireless local area networks (WLANs) have been shown to lack scalability in crowded networks and can suffer from widely varying delays rendering them unsuited to delay sensitive applications, such as voice and video communications. These deficiencies are mainly due to the use of random multiple access techniques in the MAC layer. The design of these techniques is highly linked to the choice of the underlying physical (PHY) layer technology. The advent of new PHY schemes that are based on orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA) provides new opportunities for devising more efficient MAC protocols. We propose a new adaptive MAC design based on OFDMA technology. The design uses OFDMA to reduce collision during transmission request phases and makes channel access more predictable. To improve throughput, we combine the OFDMA access with a carrier sense multiple access (CSMA) scheme. Data transmission opportunities are assigned through an access point that can schedule traffic streams in both time and frequency (subchannels) domains. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed MAC and compare it to existing mechanisms through simulation and by deriving an analytical model for the operation of the MAC in saturation mode.

Original languageEnglish
Article number512865
JournalEurasip Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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