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In this paper we experimentally study the relationship between resource utilization in the wireless LAN and the quality of VoIP calls transmitted over the wireless medium. Specifically we evaluate how its overall capacity is shared between three basic MAC bandwidth components (load, access and free) as the number of VoIP calls increases and how it influences transmission impairments (delay, loss and jitter) and thus call quality. Resource utilization (under the MAC bandwidth components framework) is calculated by a WLAN probe application that passively “sniffs” packets at the L2/MAC layer of the wireless medium and analyses their headers and temporal characteristics. The quality of VoIP calls is predicted using an extended version of the ITU-T E-model, which estimates user satisfaction from time varying transmission impairments. Through experimentation with various codecs and packetization schemes we found that as the load (number of calls) reaches the available capacity level, packet delays and jitter increase dramatically resulting the call quality becoming degraded. We show how these MAC bandwidth components may be used to asses the VoIP call quality on 802.11 WLANs.
Narbutt, M. & Davis, M. (2006) Gauging VoIP call quality from 802.11 WLAN resource usage. IEEE International Symposium on a World of Wireless, Mobile and Multimedia Networks (WoWMoM06), Buffalo, New York, USA, June, 2006.