Date Added: Sep 2010
The IEEE 802.15.4 is the most widespread used protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) and it is being used as a baseline for several higher layer protocols such as ZigBee, 6LoWPAN or WirelessHART. Its MAC (Medium Access Control) supports both contention-free (CFP, based on the reservation of guaranteed time-slots GTS) and contention based (CAP, ruled by CSMA/CA) access, when operating in beacon-enabled mode. Thus, it enables the differentiation between real-time and best-effort traffic. However, some WSN applications and higher layer protocols may strongly benefit from the possibility of supporting more traffic classes.