Wireless Networks Should Spread Spectrum Based On Demands

Ramakrishna Gummadi, Hari Balakrishnan
7th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks (Hotnets-VII), Calgary, Canada, October 2008

Today’s local-area, mesh and cellular networks assign a single narrow-band channel to a node, and this assignment remains fixed over long time scales. Using network traces, we show that the load within a network can vary significantly even over short time scales on the order of tens of seconds. Therefore, we make the case for allocating spectrum on-demand to nodes and regions of the network that need it. We present an architecture that shares the entire spectrum on-demand using spread-spectrum codes. If implemented, the system will achieve fine-grained spectrum allocation for bursty traffic without requiring inter-cell coordination. Preliminary experiments suggest a throughput improvement of 75% over commodity 802.11b networks. By eschewing the notion of channelization, and matching demand bursts with spectrum dynamically, better wireless networks that sustain higher throughputs may be designed.

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Bibtex Entry:

   author =       "Ramakrishna Gummadi and Hari Balakrishnan",
   title =        "{Wireless Networks Should Spread Spectrum Based On Demands}",
   booktitle =    {7th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks (Hotnets-VII)},
   year =         {2008},
   month =        {October},
   address =      {Calgary, Canada}