802.11 WLANs do not provide any standardized solution for reliable data multicast. Multicast packets are delivered to multiple clients as a simple broadcast service without support for Automatic Repeat Request. Hence, a fixed low speed (robust) transmission mode is generally used to improve the reliability of multicast files. However, this results in the inefficient use of bandwidth. This paper details a reliable and efficient Wi-Fi multicast delivery solution for use in challenging outdoor environments.
We propose an Application Layer Forward Error Correction enabled data carousel for reliable multicast transmission over standard 802.11 WLANs. To quantify the benefits of the proposed system, results are reported from a cross-layer simulator combining novel outdoor ray-tracing, a Physical layer abstraction simulator (to rapidly quantify the radio performance), a RaptorQ enabled multicast data carousel simulator and an optimal access point deployment tool. The simulation results demonstrate that RaptorQ enabled carousels (compared to standard carousels) significantly reduce the average response time and increase the percentage of satisfied users in a multicast network.