Analysis of Audio Streaming Capability of Zigbee Networks

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Although formerly conceived for industrial sensing and control over Wireless Sensor Networks, LR-WPANs are registering an increasing interest in experimenting multimedia applications, with particular emphasis on evaluating the streaming capability of Zigbee networks. Due to their limited throughput they are not expected to provide high QoS, nevertheless there are several application scenarios such as distributed surveillance, emergency and rescue where audio and video streaming over low cost Zigbee networks is highly desirable. In this paper we first investigate the feasibility of Zigbee-like networks for low-rate voice streaming applications. We analyze important streaming metrics such as throughput, packet loss and jitter in multi-hop topologies. We propose some improvements in the stack implementation and show the performance in order to determine the streaming capacity limits of LR-WPAN networks.