Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) is one of the most important applications for IEEE 802.11 wireless local area networks (WLANs). For network planners who deploy VoIP over WLANs, one of the important issues is the VoIP capacity. Directly implementing VoIP over infrastructure WLANs will create the bottleneck problem at the access point (AP). In this paper, we propose the use of the service differentiation provided by the new IEEE 802.11e standard to solve the bottleneck problem and improve voice capacity. In particular, we propose the allocation of a higher priority access category (AC) to the AP while allocating lower priority AC to mobile stations. We develop a simple Markov chain model, which considers the important enhanced distributed channel access (EDCA) parameters and the channel errors under saturation and nonsaturation conditions. Based on the developed analytical model, we analyze the performance of VoIP over EDCA. By appropriately selecting the EDCA parameters, we are able to differentiate the services for the downlink and uplink. The experimental results are very promising. With the adjustment of only one EDCA parameter, we improve the VoIP capacity by 20%-30%.
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