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International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 950704, 12 pages
Review Article

A Review of IEEE 802.15.6 MAC, PHY, and Security Specifications

1Department of Information System, College of Computer and Information Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11543, Saudi Arabia
2Chair of Pervasive and Mobile Computing, King Saud University, Riyadh 11543, Saudi Arabia
3Department of EEC Engineering, Korea Tech, Cheonan 330-708, Republic of Korea

Received 24 December 2012; Accepted 12 March 2013

Academic Editor: Muhammad Khurram Khan

Copyright © 2013 Sana Ullah et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


IEEE 802.15.6 is the first international Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN) standard that supports communications in the vicinity of or inside a human body to serve a variety of medical and nonmedical applications. The standard defines a Medium Access Control (MAC) layer that supports several Physical (PHY) layers. In this paper, the key features of the IEEE 802.15.6 standard are presented. The MAC, PHY, and security specifications of the standard are explained in detail. Different communication modes and access mechanisms are presented. The Narrowband (NB), Ultra-wideband (UWB), and Human Body Communications (HBC) specifications are reviewed in terms of frame structure, modulation, and other important parameters. Finally, the security paradigm and services of the standard are highlighted.