Lecture Notes in Computer Science Volume 6091, 2010, pp 160-173

Ambient Interference Effects in Wi-Fi Networks

Abstract

This paper presents a measurement study of interference from six common devices that use the same 2.4 GHz ISM band as the IEEE 802.11 protocol. Using both controlled experiments and production environment measurements, we quantify the impact of these devices on the performance of 802.11 Wi-Fi networks. In our controlled experiments, we characterize the interference properties of these devices, as well as measure and discuss implications of interference on data, video, and voice traffic. Finally, we use measurements from a campus network to understand the impact of interference on the operational performance of the network. Overall, we find that the campus network is exposed to a large variety of non-Wi-Fi devices, and that these devices can have a significant impact on the interference level in the network.