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1. (WO2018162035) APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR COMMUNICATIONS
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APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR COMMUNICATIONS

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to an apparatus, a method for communications and a computer program product.

BACKGROUND

IEEE 802.1 1 based Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) became popular at an unprecedented rate. Besides traditional Internet connectivity for PC and laptop devices, the majority of WLAN network devices are mobile devices such as smart phones and so on. In the near future, the number of WLAN devices will be dramatically increased due to the emerging Internet of Things (loT) devices market. However, most of the IEEE802.1 1 power save mechanisms are not optimized for small size devices with limited battery (e.g., loT, mobile devices, etc.) and restrict power consumption requirements.

As shown in Figs. 1 a and 1 b, a communication system 100 adopts a Wake-Up Radio (WUR) concept in order to reduce power consumption of a mobile device. The communication system 100 includes an access point (AP) 102 and a mobile device 104. The mobile device 104 includes a primary radio 105 and a low power consumption receiver shown as a WUR 107. According to the WUR concept, the primary radio 105 is used for data exchange including transmission and reception, and can switch between statuses "on" and "off" based on a trigger from the WUR 107. The WUR 107 is used to wake up the primary radio 105 but not used for data exchange. In Fig. 1 a, there is no data exchange between the AP 102 and the mobile device 104. The primary radio 105 is "off" and the WUR 107 is "on". In Fig. 1 b, there is data to be exchanged between the AP 102 and the mobile device 104. A wake-up signal is transmitted from the AP 102 to the mobile device 104. Upon receiving the wake-up signal, the WUR 107 triggers the primary radio 105. The primary radio 105 turns to be "on" and is ready for data exchange. Correspondingly, the WUR 107 turns to be "off". Because of a on/off duty-cycle of the WUR 107, additional lower power consumption is achieved.

In the state of the art, a wake-up signal may be preceded by 802.1 1 legacy preamble or a clear to send (CTS) frame. A wake-up signal may be transmitted using 802.1 1 CSMA/CA access scheme. Fig. 2 shows a wake-up signal preceded by the 802.1 1 legacy preamble. The wake-up signal (shown as a wake-up Frame in Fig. 2) comprises a preamble, a header, a body and a frame check sequence (FCS). The legacy preamble is a preamble according to the 802.1 1 protocol in the state of the art and includes a Non- high throughput (HT) Short Training field (L-STF), Non-HT Long Training field (L-LTF) and Non-HT SIGNAL field (L-SIG). The legacy preamble is transmitted after an arbitration interframe space (AIFS) and a backoff process using Binary Exponential Backoff (BEB) algorithm. Fig. 3 shows a wake-up signal preceded by a CTS frame (shown as a CTS MAC field in Fig. 2) and a possible short interframe space, SIFS.

In the state of the art, collisions may occur among multiple transmissions of wake-up signals or between transmission of wake-up signal and WLAN signal from different mobile devices. All the mobile devices related to the collisions may have to perform retransmissions. Therefore, communication efficiency is decreased and communication delay is increased when a collision occurs.

SUMMARY

An object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus and a method for communications, especially for a Wi-Fi communication, so as to increase the communication efficiency and/or decrease the communication delay.

The above-mentioned object of the present invention is achieved by the solution provided in the independent claims. Further, implementations are defined in the dependent claims. Therefore, the communication efficiency is increased and the communication delay is decrease due to lower possibility of collisions.

A first aspect of the present invention provides a communication device, comprising:

- a processor configured to perform during a time period a determination if a transmission medium is free for communication; and

- a transmitter configured to transmit a signal, for example a wake-up signal, on the transmission medium if the transmission medium is free.

The communication device can be in particular for a Wi-Fi communication. The communication device can be any WLAN device, such as an access point (AP) or a terminal. The term "medium" can refer to a channel or any communication resource that can be configured or scheduled for the transmission. The term "free" is a status of the transmission medium and can refer to a situation where no collision, traffic or transmission is on the transmission medium.

Compared with the state of the art, a time period is configured so that the communication device can determine the status of a transmission medium, for example free or not, and further transmit a wake-up signal on the transmission medium based on the determined status of the transmission medium. Therefore, possible collisions during the transmission of the wake-up signal can be avoided without increasing possible retransmissions that the communication device has to perform due to collisions. Further the wake up signal can be communicated reliably to the receiving device. This could also minimize transmission inefficiency and transmission delay when the communication device sleeps.

In a first implementation form of the communication device according to the first aspect, the communication device further comprises:

- a detector configured to detect if the transmission medium is free for communication during the time period;

and wherein the determination is based on a result of the detector whether the transmission medium is free or not.

A detection performed by the communication device can provide a timely and accurate basis for the determination of the communication device. The detection can either be performed by listening to the transmission medium if there are any signals transmitted from other devices. The detection can also comprise to send a test-signal and to determine whether the test-signal collides with a signal from another device. The communication device does not have to communicate with another device to perform the determination and thereof decreasing necessary overheads before transmitting the wake-up signal. Any delay of the determination due to the possible communication with another device on the basis for the determination is also decreased.

In a second implementation form of the communication device according to the first aspect, the communication device further comprises:

- a receiver configured to receive a notification from another device, wherein the notification can comprise information on whether the transmission medium is free or not or information of a certain resource allocation, in particular for other devices of the network.

The determination if the transmission medium is free or not is based on the notification of the receiver.

The communication device can receive information and accordingly perform the determination. Therefore, no detection performed by the communication is needed. The processing complexity in the communication device is reduced.

In a third implementation form of the communication device according to the first aspect and any previous implementation form of the first aspect, the processor is further configured to switch the communication device to an idle mode if the transmission medium is not free.

The communication device returns to the idle mode and accordingly a planned transmission of a wake-up signal on the transmission medium is aborted. Thereby, advantageously collisions between a transmission of the communication device and other transmissions (from other devices) on the transmission medium are avoided. Furthermore, a power consumption of the communication device can be reduced, because in idle mode power consuming parts of the communication device can be deactivated.

In a fourth implementation form of the communication device according to the first aspect and any previous implementation form of the first aspect, the transmitter is further configured to transmit a preamble. The time period starts after the preamble is transmitted by the transmitter.

The time period is configured after a transmission of a preamble. The time period can be started directly after the preamble is transmitted completely. This facilitates the communication device to determine timely and accurately the status of the transmission medium. In a scenario where a communication uses 802.1 1 standards, the preamble can contain a field that informs other devices what is the time duration of the entire transmission including the preamble and any transmitted data. This information is used to refrain other devices from transmitting on the transmission medium. The time period configured after a transmission of the preamble can give the communication device sufficient time to perform the determination while other devices cannot trigger a new transmission on the transmission medium during this time period.

In a fifth implementation form of the communication device according to the first aspect and any previous implementation form of the first aspect, a length of the time period is predefined in the communication device, or decided by the processor.

The time period is defined with a certain length. A region of the length of the time period can be from 12 to 25 μεβα The communication device can obtain the predefined length of the

time period. For example, the communication device reads the length of the time period from a memory or receives the time period from other devices. The internal processing procedure of the communication device is comparably simple. Alternatively, the communication device can decide a length of the time period by itself. In this way, the communication device can decide when and how to determine the length of the time period based on practical requirements.

In a sixth implementation form of the communication device according to the first aspect and any previous implementation form of the first aspect, the length of the time period is decided by the processor based on a Tx-Rx switching time, a time for the detector to perform the detection, and/or an Rx-Tx switching time. The Tx-Rx switching time (namely a Tx-Rx transition time) can refer to turn-round time for a switch from a transmission mode (Tx) to a receiving mode (Rx). The Rx-Tx switching time (namely a Rx-Tx transition time) can refer to turn-round time for a switch from a receiving status to a transmission status.

Several practical parameters such as a Tx-Rx switching time, a time for the detector to perform the detection, and an Rx-Tx switching time are taken into account by the communication device when deciding the length of the time period. In this way, the communication device can decide dynamically the length of the time period based on practical requirements. For example the length of the time for the detector to perform the detection can be based on a pre-defined urgency to wake up a certain device. If the time to perform the detection is short a wake-up signal will be sent with a higher possibility because the time to detect that the transmission medium is occupied by another device is shorter. Thereby, the possibility of collisions can be expectedly lower and on the same time a device can be woken up with high possibility.

In a seventh implementation form of the communication device according to one of the sixth and seventh implementation forms of the first aspect, the processor is further configured to randomly select how many time slots are included in the time period. The length of the time period is decided by the processor based on how many time slots are selected.

By randomly selecting how many time slots are used for a time period, the communication device increases its capabilities to detect collisions with another device, because the possibility that time periods of several devices start and end at the same time (which would mean that these devices cannot detect any collisions from each other) is reduced.

In an eighth implementation form of the communication device according to the first aspect and any previous implementation form of the first aspect, the communication device is an access point, AP.

For example, the AP can be a Wi-Fi AP, which is an access point capable to provide Wi-Fi access, for example, a home gateway. The AP may be a soft-AP, which is capable to support other device's Wi-Fi access, for example, a smart phone configured with a software function of providing Wi-Fi access. The AP may be a WLAN device, which is connected to other device using an Ad-hoc protocol, for example, two lap-tops communicating one with the other.

A second aspect of the present invention provides a communication method, comprising:

- performing, by a communication device, during a time period a determination if a transmission medium is free for communication; and

- transmitting, by the communication device, a wake-up signal on the transmission medium if it is free.

Compared with the state of the art, a time period is configured so that the communication device can determine the status of a transmission medium, for example free or not, and further transmit a wake-up signal on the transmission medium based on the determined status of the transmission medium. Therefore, possible collisions during the transmission of the wake-up signal can be avoided without increasing possible retransmissions that the communication device has to perform due to collisions. This also minimizes the transmission inefficiency and the transmission delay when the communication device sleeps.

In a first implementation form of the base station according to the second aspect, the method further comprises:

- detecting, by the communication device, if the transmission medium is free for communication during the time period;

and wherein the determination is based on a detecting result.

A detection performed by the communication device can provide a timely and accurate basis for the determination of the communication device. The communication device does not have to communicate with another device to perform the determination and thereof decreasing necessary overheads before transmitting the wake-up signal. Any delay of the determination due to the possible communication with another device on the basis for the determination is also decreased.

In a second implementation form of the base station according to the first implementation form of the second aspect, the method further comprises:

- switching the communication device to idle mode during a transmission process if the transmission medium is not free.

The communication device, which is in Tx mode and ready to a further transmission, returns to the idle mode so that collisions between a transmission of the communication device and other transmissions on the transmission medium are avoided.

In a third implementation form of the base station according to any previous implementation form of the second aspect and according to the second aspect, the method further comprises:

- transmitting, by the communication device, a preamble;

and wherein the time period starts after the preamble is transmitted.

The time period is configured after a transmission of a preamble. This facilitates the communication device to determine timely and accurately the status of the transmission medium. In a scenario where a communication uses 802.1 1 standards, the preamble contains a field that informs other devices what is the time duration of the entire transmission, including the preamble and any transmitted data. This information is used to refrain other devices from transmitting on the transmission medium. The time period configured after a transmission of the preamble gives the communication device sufficient time to perform the determination while other devices cannot trigger a new transmission on the transmission medium during this time period.

In a fourth implementation form of the base station according to any previous implementation form of the second aspect and according to the second aspect, the method further comprises:

- obtaining, by the communication device, a predefined length of the time period, or

- deciding, by the communication device, a length of the time period.

The time period is defined with a certain length. The communication device can obtain the predefined length of the time period. For example, the communication device reads the length of the time period from its memory or other devices. The internal processing procedure of the communication device is comparably simple. Alternatively, the communication device can decide a length of the time period by itself. In this way, the communication device can decide when and how to determine the length of the time period based on practical requirements.

A third aspect of the present invention provides a computer program comprising a program code for performing, when running on a computer, the method according to the second aspect of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above aspects and implementation forms of the present invention will be explained in the following description of specific embodiments in relation to the enclosed drawings, in which:

Figures 1 a and 1 b show a communication system adopting a WUR concept.

Figure 2 shows a wake-up signal preceded by a legacy preamble.

Figure 3 shows a wake-up signal preceded by a CTS frame.

Figure 4 shows a block diagram of a communication device according to an embodiment of the present invention.

Figures 5 and 6 show block diagrams of alternative processing methods of a communication device according to an embodiment of the present invention.

Figure 7 shows a time period between legacy preamble and a wake-up signal according to an embodiment of the present invention.

Figure 8 shows a time period between a CTS frame and a wake-up signal according to another embodiment of the present invention.

Figure 9 shows a structure of a time period according to an embodiment of the present invention.

Figure 10 shows a structure of a time period according to another embodiment of the present invention.

Figures 1 1 and 12 show examples of two alternative scenarios where collisions are detected and avoided according to an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

Fig. 4 shows a communication device 400 according to an embodiment of the present invention. The communication device 400 may be an access point (AP), e.g., for Wi-Fi communications. For example, the communication device 400 is a Wi-Fi AP such as a home gateway. The communication device may be a device integrated with a function of providing Wi-Fi access, namely a soft-AP, in particular comprised by a mobile communication device. The communication device may be a WLAN device capable of working in an independent basic service set (IBSS) mode with other devices for example another WLAN IBSS device. In an example, the communication device 400 is a lap-top communicating with another lap-top using Ad-hoc protocol.

The communication device 400 can based on 802.1 1 protocol communicate with other devices, for example, small size devices with limited battery. The communication may be any transmission of data or signal. For example, the communication device 400 can be used as the AP 102 shown in Fig. 1 a and Fig. 1 b, and transmit a wake-up signal (also namely a wake-up packet or a wake-up frame) and subsequent data to the mobile device 104.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the communication device 400 enables to perform an analysis or process on the transmission medium within the time period to check if it is free or not and decide if a signal transmission should be continued or aborted. For example, as shown in Fig. 4, the communication device 400 may include a processor 401 . The processor 401 may be configured to perform during a time period a determination if a transmission medium is free for communication. Additionally or alternatively, the processor 401 may be further configured to switch the communication device 400 to an idle mode if the transmission medium is not free.

The communication device 400 may also include a transmitter 403. The transmitter 403 is configured to transmit a signal, for example wake-up signal, on the transmission medium if it is free as determined by the processor 401 .

As shown in Fig. 4, the communication device may further include a detector 405 and/or a receiver 407. The communication device 400 may further include a memory 409, which provides access to one or more elements in the communication device 400. Optionally, a data bus (not shown in Fig. 4) may connect all the elements, including the processor 401 , the transmitter 403, the detector 405, the receiver 407 and the memory 409, in the communication device 400.

According to an embodiment of the invention, the detector 405 is configured to detect if the transmission medium is free for communication during the time period. The processor 401 may perform the determination based on an output of the detector 405. The output of the detector 405 indicates to the processor 401 that the transmission medium is free or not free for communication during the time period. The output of the detector 405 is not limited to a single format so long as the processor 401 can recognize it.

As shown in Fig. 5, in a processing method of the communication device 400 according to an embodiment of the present invention, a medium status detection, for example, a Clear Channel Assessment (CCA) detection, is performed by the detector 405 in Step 501 . Based on the output of the medium status detection, the processor 401 can determine whether (or not) the transmission medium is free for communication during the time period in Step 503. The CCA detection is an example in the embodiment of the present invention. Any detection that results in an output of checking the medium status, for example checking whether the transmission medium is free, can substitute or complement the CCA detection in the embodiment of the present invention.

If during the time period the transmission medium is not free, for example occupied by other transmission, the processor 401 performs Step 505a, the communication device 400 returns to an idle mode. Although the communication device 400 is still in a transmission mode and ready to perform the expected transmission, the transmission will be stopped and the communication device 400 is in the idle mode instead of the transmission mode. The transmitter 403 does not perform any transmission on the transmission medium so that a possible collision between a transmission originated by the communication device 400 and a transmission originated by another device can be avoided.

Alternatively, if during the time period the transmission medium is free, for example it is not occupied by other transmission, the processor 401 performs Step 505b, the transmitter 403 transmits a wake-up signal. The wake-up signal is the only transmission on the transmission medium. No other device starts a new transmission on the transmission medium before the communication device 400 finishes transmitting the wake-up signal. Therefore, the possibility of collisions due to the transmission of the wake-up signal is decreased.

According to an embodiment of the invention, the receiver 407 in the communication device 400 is configured to receive information from another device. The information indicates that the transmission medium is free or not for communication during the time period. The processor 401 may perform the determination based on the information, for example shown

as an indicator in Fig. 6, and does not have to by itself perform the detection on the transmission medium as shown in Fig. 5. Steps 503, 505a and 505b in Fig. 6 are the same as or similar to those in Fig. 5.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, before checking the medium status, the transmitter 403 may transmit a preamble such as 802.1 1 legacy preamble and/or a CTS frame, in Step 500. A wake-up signal is expected to be transmitted after the preamble. In other words, a transmission of the wake-up signal can start with a transmission of a wake-up preamble, for example 802.1 1 legacy preamble as shown in Fig. 7 or a CTS frame as shown in Fig. 8. It should be noted that the term "legacy" is used to name the preamble and cannot be considered as a technical limitation of the preamble. The legacy preamble in the embodiment of the present invention may be a preamble used the same as or similar to that in the state of the art. For example, 802.1 1 legacy preamble may be a preamble in 802.1 1 protocol, which is the same as or similar to a preamble as shown in Fig. 2.

As shown in Fig. 7, the transmission of the wake-up signal is determined by the processor 401 based on a result of a CCA detection. Assuming the output "0" of the CCA detection indicates that there is already a transmission on the transmission medium, the processor 401 stops the transmitter 403 to perform the planned transmission of the wake-up signal. The transmission of the wake-up signal may be deferred, in particular until the processor 401 has determined that the transmission medium is free for a new transmission from the communication device 400, e.g. by applying a further timer period to analyze the status of the transmission medium. Additionally or alternatively, the output "1 " of the CCA detection indicates that the transmission medium is free. The processor 401 controls the transmitter 403 to perform the planned transmission of the wake-up signal.

As shown in Fig. 7, the time period (also called a silent period because the communication device 400 keeps silent during this period) starts after 802.1 1 legacy preamble, in particular directly after the preamble. The time period lasts for a while, which is called a length of the time period. An output "0" can stop the detector 405 to perform further medium status detections in the time period. For example, the processor 401 may perform the CCA detection from the beginning of the time period and continuously perform the CCA detection until obtaining an output "0" at a certain time point in the time period or obtaining no output during the entire of the time period. Then the processor 401 may, before the time period comes to the end, controls the communication device 400 to return the communication device to the idle mode. Alternatively, the detector 405 does not perform further CCA detections if an output "1 " is obtained at the end of the time period. For example, the

processor 401 may perform continuously the CCA detection during the entire time period. If at the end of the time period, the transmission medium is still free, the processor 401 may immediately control the transmitter 403 to transmit the wake-up signal. The duration as shown in Fig. 7 indicates how long other devices are not allowed to trigger a new transmission on the transmission medium. Compared with this duration, the shorter that the time period lasts, the higher a possibility of a transmission of the wake-up signal.

Similar to Fig. 7, Fig. 8 shows different determinations on a wake-up signal transmission. The difference between the embodiment depicted in Fig. 7 and Fig. 8 is that the time period in the embodiment in Fig. 8 starts directly after a transmission of a CTS frame. The CTS frame may include a CTS MAC field filled with an address of its transmitting node, that is, the address of the communication device 400 according to an embodiment of the present invention. Formats 802.1 1 a/b/g/n/ac are shown as examples of the CTS frame. Information, such as a preamble, can be transmitted before the CTS frame. This is the same as or similar to Fig. 3.

The length of the time period may be predefined in the communication device 400 or decided by the processor 401 . As shown in Figs. 7 and 8, the time period is between the wake-up frame and one of the legacy preamble transmission and the CTS transmission. The time period enables the transmitter 403 to execute the CCA procedure (e.g., the CCA detection) and enables the processor 401 to determine if the transmission medium is indeed free.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the length of the time period before the (planned) transmission of the wake-up signal may be derived based on the following:

A capability of the communication device, in particular:

- a switching time between Tx (e.g., transmitting preamble or CTS) to Rx (e.g., performing a medium status detection) and in particular back to Tx (e.g., transmitting a wake-up signal); and/or

- a minimal time required by a switch from Tx to Rx and/or a switch from Rx to Tx, e.g., shorter than SIFS.

A characteristics of the medium status detection, in particular a minimal time required to measure a CCA, e.g., less than a slot (i.e., 9 μεβο).

A characteristics of a CSMA-protocol, in particular:

a time duration for a WLAN device to access a transmission medium after the transmission medium is "idle", e.g., at least point coordination function (PCF) interframe space (PIFS) = 19μεβο when the device works at 2.4GHz (for short namely @2.4GHz) or at least PIFS = 25μεβο when the device works at 5GHz (for short namely @5GHz). This consideration may refer to a duration between a first time point when the processor 401 starts to control the transmitter 403 to transmit the wake-up signal and a second time point when the wake-up signal is transmitted on the transmission medium in an embodiment of the present invention.

A collision avoidance strategy (e.g., a collision between WURs, and/or a collision between WUR and a WLAN radio) in particular:

- different time periods that are set for different communication devices in order to prevent a collision between different communication devices.

As shown in Fig. 9, a time period after the CTS frame or the legacy preamble has a length shorter than PIFS. The time period includes a Tx-Rx Transition time, a time duration for a CCA measurement, and a Rx-Tx Transition time.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, a time period can be determined within a region. Assume for practical RF solutions that Tx-Rx turn-around time is less than 4μεβο and a CCA measurement needs 4μεβα The region of the time period can be obtained as follows.

@2.4GHz:

A lower limit is: 2 x RF switch + a time duration for a CCA measurement = 2 x 4 + 4 = 12μ$βο.

An upper limit is: PIFS = 1 9μεβα

Therefore, a region of the time period is [12, 19] μεβα

@5GHz:

A lower limit is: 2 x RF switch + a time duration for a CCA measurement = 2 x 4 + 4 = 12μ$βο.

An upper limit is: PIFS = 25μεβα

Therefore, a region of the time period is [12, 25] μεβα

The upper limit of the length of the time period is set according to the minimal "free" medium time that enables other device to start its transmission on the medium. In this way, the communication device does not have to wait for too long time to have a final determination on the status of the transmission medium. Therefore, the transmission efficiency can be increased and the power consumption of the communication device can be decreased.

To prevent the communication device 400 from collisions with other communication devices transmitting data or signals on the transmission medium, each communication device may use random duration of the time period. As shown in Fig. 10, a time period after CTS or legacy preamble includes Tx-Rx transition time, a time duration for a CCA measurement, and/or a Rx-Tx transition time. The time duration for the CCA measurement includes K time slots. K can be randomly selected by each communication device.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the processor 401 is further configured to randomly select an integer. The selected integer indicates how many time slots are included in the time period. Accordingly, the processor 401 decides the length of the time period. Assuming that a time slot is 4μεβο, a set of K can be obtained as follows:

@2.4GHz: {0, 1 , 2}

For example, the processor 401 selects K = 2. There are two time slots included in the time period. Therefore, the time period is 4 + 2 x 4 + 4 = 1 θμεβα

@5GHz: {0, 1 , 2, 3, 4}

For example, the processor 401 selects K = 4. There are four time slots included in the time period. Therefore, the time period is 4 + 4 x 4 + 4 = 24μεβα

Fig. 1 1 and Fig. 12 show two alternative scenarios where collisions are detected and avoided according to an embodiment of the present invention.

As shown in Fig. 1 1 , there are two access points: AP1 using normal Wi-Fi radio and AP2 using WUR. AP1 can send a Wi-Fi frame (e.g., a data frame, shown as PPDU in Fig. 1 1 ) via Wi-Fi radio. AP2 can send a wake-up frame via WUR. At the same time, AP1 starts the transmission of the PPDU and AP2 starts the transmission of the preamble. A collision occurs between the two transmissions. According to an embodiment of the present invention, AP2 detects that the transmission medium is not free, which technically means that AP detects the collision. AP2 stops its transmission of the expected wake-up signal after the preamble. Therefore, AP1 can continue successfully its transmission of the PPDU and the collision is avoided.

As shown in Fig. 12, there are two access points: AP1 and AP2. AP1 and AP2 start at the same time a transmission of the preamble. A collision occurs between the two transmissions. According to an embodiment of the present invention, after transmitting the preamble, both AP1 and AP2 start to detect whether the transmission medium is free or not. The time period of AP2 is shorter than that of AP1 . Therefore, AP2 continues successfully a transmission of the planned wake-up signal. AP1 detects during its time period that the transmission medium is not free because AP2 transmits its wake-up signal. AP2 defers its transmission of the wake-up signal and returns to idle. Therefore, a collision between two wake-up signals is avoided.

The invention has been described in conjunction with embodiments including a communication device such as an access point. However, other applications can be understood and effected by those skilled in the art in practicing the claimed invention, from a study of the drawings, the disclosure, and the appended claims.

The elements described as separate parts in the communication device 400 may or may not be physically separate. For example, the transmitter 403 and receiver 405 may be integrated in a transceiver. The detector 407 may be (partially) integrated with the transmitter 403 and/or the receiver 405.

A computer program may be stored or distributed on a suitable medium, such as an optical storage medium or a solid-state medium supplied together with or as part of other hardware, but may also be distributed in other forms, such as via the Internet or other wired or wireless telecommunication systems.