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MAC-Layer Coexistence Analysis of LTE and WLAN Systems Via Listen-Before-Talk



Yao Ma, Dan Kuester


With the congestion and scarcity of available spectrum resources, spectrum sharing between long-term evolution (LTE) and the IEEE 802.11 (aka. WLAN) systems is an ongoing research topic. Considering the LTE license assisted access (LAA) with the listen before talk (LBT) procedure, recent research efforts try to evaluate the performance in several LTE-LBT and WLAN coexistence scenarios. However, the available approaches have not adequately modeled and analyzed general case of LBT (such as Category 4), and the case when there are more than two types of transmissions. In this paper, to fill this technical gap, we implement a systematic modelling and analysis of the media access control (MAC) layer coexisting performance of LTE-LBT and WLAN systems. We consider coexistence scenario of LTE downlink, and WLAN uplink and downlink transmissions, develop analytical results on time-efficiency throughput, transmission and collision probabilities of LTE and WLAN nodes, and then generalize the result to multiple types of transmissions (e.g., more than three types). To validate the analysis, we implement LBT and WLAN MAC algorithm programming and extensive simulations, which confirm the accuracy of our analysis. Our result shows that replacing WLAN stations with LTE transmitters may, in some cases, significantly degrade the overall throughput, depending on the original efficiencies of WLAN systems and channel access schemes. To address this, we propose a 4-way handshaking channel access scheme for LTE-LBT, which can significantly improve the coexistence performance. These results put new insight into relationship between coexistence performance and MAC parameters of LTE-LBT and WLAN systems, and may aid in the design and optimization of coexistence systems.
Proceedings Title
The 14th Annual IEEE Consumer Communications & Networking Conference (CCNC)
Conference Dates
January 8-11, 2017
Conference Location
Las Vegas, NV, US
Conference Title
Same as above


Wireless System Coexistence, LTE (Long term evolution), WLAN (Wireless local area network).


Ma, Y. and Kuester, D. (2017), MAC-Layer Coexistence Analysis of LTE and WLAN Systems Via Listen-Before-Talk, The 14th Annual IEEE Consumer Communications & Networking Conference (CCNC), Las Vegas, NV, US, [online], (Accessed May 24, 2024)


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Created January 7, 2017, Updated April 8, 2022