Recent studies show that high-power cross-technology interference is becoming a major problem in today's 802.11 networks. Devices like baby monitors and cordless phones can cause a wireless LAN to lose connectivity. The existing approach for dealing with such high-power interferers makes the 802.11 network switch to a different channel; yet the ISM band is becoming increasingly crowded with diverse technologies, and hence many 802.11 access points may not find an interference-free channel.
This paper presents TIMO, a MIMO design that enables 802.11n to communicate in the presence of high-power cross-technology interference. Unlike existing MIMO designs, however, which require all concurrent transmissions to belong to the same technology, TIMO can exploit MIMO capabilities to decode in the presence of a signal from a different technology, hence enabling diverse technologies to share the same frequency band. We implement a prototype of TIMO in GNURadio-USRP2 and show that it enables 802.11n to communicate in the presence of interference from baby monitors, cordless phones, and microwave ovens, transforming scenarios with a complete loss of connectivity to operational networks.