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Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 7137406, 13 pages
Research Article

Experimental Performance Evaluation of Multihop IEEE 802.15.4/4g/4e Smart Utility Networks in Outdoor Environment

National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), Tokyo, Japan

Correspondence should be addressed to Chin-Sean Sum

Received 29 September 2016; Accepted 4 January 2017; Published 22 March 2017

Academic Editor: Patrick Seeling

Copyright © 2017 Chin-Sean Sum 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.


This paper presents the experimental performance evaluation results of the IEEE 802.15.4/4g/4e Smart Utility Networks (SUN) in applications suited for outdoor environment. SUN is an advanced wireless communications network designed for reliable, low data rate, and low energy consumption networks for command-and-control applications like utility service, sensor network, and so on. IEEE 802.15.4g/4e is the international standard for SUN supported by multiple utility providers and product vendors. In this paper, a comprehensive field test was conducted by employing the implementation we have developed to evaluate the performance of the SUN devices based on IEEE 802.15.4/4g/4e standard. The output power of the implementation is 250 mW for extended range, reducible to 20 mW for short-range scalability and battery preservation. Results showed that in an outdoor line-of-sight environment, the achievable one-hop range of a 50 kbps SUN device was 450 m. Next, in a non-line-of-sight environment involving typical residential concrete building, the communications could be established penetrating obstructions to reach above the 11th storey, reaching the performance degradation limits at the 20th storey. Next, the network of the SUN system was proven to be capable of supporting a typical multihop tree network in a dense populated building, meeting the required performance by the standard.