The proliferation of mobile computing devices including portable computers, PDAs and handheld devices has created a tremendous demand for wireless local area networks (WLANs). One of the greatest limitations of contemporary WLANs is the finite energy resource of mobile computing devices. As a result, energy-efficient protocol design for WLANs has recently become the focus of many research efforts. To design energy-efficient protocols, it is indispensable to thoroughly investigate the energy consumption of WLANs. In this paper, we propose an analytical framework to study the energy consumption and energy efficiency of IEEE 802.11 WLANs. Extensive simulations are conducted to validate the theoretical analysis. It is shown that the theoretical model is accurate in predicting the energy efficiency over a wide range of scenarios. In addition, the impacts of different MAC layer parameters on energy efficiency of IEEE 802.11 WLANs are examined. Insights into the effects of different parameters on energy efficiency are provided as well.
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