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IP multicast applications such as live lecture broadcasts are being increasingly used in enterprise and campus networks. In many cases, end hosts access these multicast streams using Wi-Fi networks. However, multicast over Wi-Fi suffers from several well-known problems such as low data rate, high losses and unfairness vis-a-vis other contending unicast transmissions. In this paper, the authors present DirCast, a system to solve many of these problems. DirCast requires no changes to the 802.11 MAC protocol or the wireless access points. Software changes are required on clients only if they wish to participate in multicast sessions. The aim of DirCast system is to minimize the airtime consumed by the multicast traffic, while simultaneously improving client experience.
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