IEEE 802.15.4 standard has been proposed for low power wireless personal area networks. It can be used as an important component in machine to machine (M2M) networks for data collection, monitoring and controlling functions. With an increasing number of machine devices enabled by M2M technology and equipped with 802.15.4 radios, it is likely that multiple 802.15.4 networks may be deployed closely, for example, to collect data for smart metering at residential or enterprise areas. In such scenarios, supporting reliable communications for monitoring and controlling applications is a big challenge. The problem becomes more severe due to the potential hidden terminals when the operations of multiple 802.15.4 networks are uncoordinated. In this paper, we investigate this problem from three typical scenarios and propose an analytic model to reveal how performance of coexisting 802.15.4 networks may be affected by uncoordinated operations under these scenarios. Simulations will be used to validate the analytic model. It is observed that uncoordinated operations may lead to a significant degradation of system performance in M2M applications. With the proposed analytic model, we also investigate the performance limits of the 802.15.4 networks, and the conditions under which coordinated operations may be required to support M2M applications.
- IEEE 802.15.4
- Machine to machine communication
- Uncoordinated operation