The link misalignment and high susceptibility to blockages are the biggest hurdles in realizing 60-GHz-based wireless local area networks (WLANs). However, much of the previous studies investigating 60 GHz alignment and blockage issues do not provide an accurate quantitative evaluation from the perspective of WLANs. In this article, we present an in-depth quantitative evaluation of commodity IEEE 802.11ad devices by forming a 60-GHz WLAN with two docking stations mimicking as access points (APs). Through extensive experiments, we provide important insights about directional coverage pattern of antennas, communication range, and cochannel interference and blockages. We are able to measure the IEEE 802.11ad link alignment and association overheads in absolute time units. With a very high accuracy (96%-97%), our blockage characterization can differentiate between temporary and permanent blockages caused by humans in the indoor environment, which is a key insight. Utilizing our blockage characterization, we also demonstrate intelligent handoff to alternate APs using consumer-grade IEEE 802.11ad devices. Our blockage-induced handoff experiments provide important insights that would be helpful in integrating millimeter wave-based WLANs into future wireless networks.
- IEEE 802.11ad
- millimeter wave