In-Home TVWS Measurements Using IEEE 802.11af

In June 2014, the Centre investigated the performance of IEEE 802.11af Wi-Fi in a small number of homes in the Glasgow area, with support from Sky, Microsoft, MediaTek, and 6 Harmonics.


The tests made use of prototype tri-band Wi-Fi equipment developed by MediaTek and 6 Harmonics, encompassing traditional IEEE 802.11n Wi-Fi operating in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands plus the recently-ratified IEEE 802.11af standard which covers Wi-Fi operating in TV white space spectrum.

A key aim was to compare the performance of IEEE 802.11af (TVWS) and IEEE 802.11n (in both the 2.4 GHz band and the 5 GHz band) in a typical home-based set-up. The basic methodology therefore involved visiting a small number of homes, setting up a base station/access point at a suitable location in each home, and measuring coverage and throughput performance when connected to a client station which was placed at various locations in and around the home. This was done for each of the three technologies under test, i.e. IEEE 802.11af, IEEE 802.11n at 2.4 GHz, and IEEE 802.11n at 5 GHz.

The homes comprised a mix of construction types: older-style properties with outer walls made of sandstone and internal walls made of brick, and more modern-style properties with an outer frame made of timber and brick, and internal walls made of plasterboard.

The results indicate that IEEE 802.11af has significant potential to complement IEEE 802.11n, adding increased in-home coverage capabilities which complement the capabilities of IEEE 802.11n.

Click here to download the project report (1.6MB PDF).

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