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This paper aims at evaluating the communication performance of the IEEE 802.15.4 standard in an industrial environment. We investigated the correlation between Packet Error Rate (PER) and Spectral Occupancy (SO) in the network environment. For this goal, we studied the impact on SO and PER resulting from the insertion of interference from other sources within the same range of the channels defined by the standard. The results show that an IEEE 802.15.4-based sensor network can suffer large drop in performance with the addition of new sources of interference. The information provided by the experiments can be used to guide the development of new spectrum-aware techniques and protocols to mitigate the interference in IEEE 802.15.4-based industrial wireless sensor networks.