On the Feasibility of Location-based Discovery and Vertical Handover in IEEE 802.11ah


Multi-Radio Access Technology (RAT) IoT devices are able to combine the high coverage of Low-Power Wide-Area (LPWA) technologies with the higher data-rates of shorter range technologies such as IEEE 802.11ah. In such scenarios, a discovery procedure has to be used for detecting the availability of a IEEE 802.11ah network. Currently, these procedures consume substantial energy, as the discovery has to be periodically performed, even if the IEEE 802.11ah technology is not available, which is undesirable for low-power Internet of Things (IoT) devices. We propose using the device’s location information for making more optimized discovery and handover decisions. We demonstrate the feasibility of this approach in performing energy efficient handovers between various LPWA technologies and IEEE 802.11ah based on estimated location. We carry out our evaluation in terms of the energy consumption of the procedure and the duration of the device’s association to IEEE 802.11ah. We show that the location-based procedure substantially reduces the energy consumption of the mobile device compared to the traditional discovery based on periodical listening for beacons.

IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference (WCNC)