Extension of the IEEE 802.11ah NS-3 Simulation Module


IEEE 802.11ah, marketed as Wi-Fi HaLow, is a new Wi-Fi standard for sub-1Ghz communications, aiming to address the major challenges of the Internet of Things (IoT), namely connectivity among a large number of densely deployed power-constrained stations. The standard was only published in May 2017 and hardware supporting Wi-Fi HaLow is not available on the market yet. As such, research on 802.11ah has been mostly based on mathematical and simulation models. Mathematical models generally introduce several simplifications and assumptions, which do not faithfully reflect real network conditions. As a solution, we previously developed an IEEE 802.11ah module for ns-3, publicly released in 2016. This initial release consisted of physical layer models for sub-1GHz communications and an implementation of the fast association and Restricted Access Window (RAW) channel access method. In this paper, we present an extension to our IEEE 802.11ah simulator. It contains several new features: an online RAW configuration interface, an energy state model, adaptive Modulation and Coding Scheme (MCS), and Traffic Indication Map (TIM) segmentation. This paper presents the details of our implementation, along with experimental results to validate each new feature. The extended Wi-Fi HaLow module can now support different scenarios with both uplink and downlink heterogeneous traffic, together with real-time RAW optimization, sleep management for energy conservation and adaptive MCS.

Workshop on ns-3 (WNS3)