Increasing WiFi VoIP Call Capacity

Technology #4036

This technology relates to data communication and data communication protocols.  The move from wired networks to wireless networks such as those implemented by IEEE 802.11 (also known as “WiFi”) is becoming more and more common.  At the same time, making telephone calls over the internet using a technology such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is also growing in popularity.  However, wireless networks that use conventional protocol suites often support an unexpectedly small number of calls, even when the bandwidth offered by the wireless network would suggest a larger number of calls. For example, a single access point presently supports around 6 to 8 calls.  This is in contrast to the expected number of 85 calls for even the baseline 802.11b technology.  In this work, we have developed software only optimization solutions that have to be deployed at the access-point and the mobile client that can significantly improve the VoIP call capacity.  Using both simulations and real-life prototypes we have validated our solutions.  Briefly, the solutions include frame aggregation, block acknowledgements, and intelligent rate adaptation.