Fujitsu Develops Inter-Cell Interference Coordination Technology for LTEBase Stations Enabling Uninterrupted High-Quality Video Delivery
Autonomously controls signal interference at cell-edge areas making possible smooth mobile phone service from anywhere
Kawasaki, Japan, May 18, 2011
Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. today announced the development of a proprietaryinter-cell interference coordination (ICIC) technology that eliminates signal interference at cell-edge areas covered bybase stations of the cutting-edge long-term evolution (LTE) mobile phone system. The new technology is able toautonomously allocate frequency bands in order to reduce radio-wave interference in accordance with userdistribution around cell-edge areas of overlapping cells of each adjacent base station. By deploying this technology tobase stations, it is possible to double throughput at cell-edge areas, which would otherwise experience reducedtransmission speeds due to signal interference.This improvement in throughput will make it possible for users to enjoy services
such as high-quality video contentdelivery
from any location without interruption.Details of this technology were presented at the 2011 IEEE 73rd Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC2011Spring), held in Budapest, Hungary from May 15, 2011.
In recent years, there has been enormous growth in mobile telecommunications traffic in line with the rapid spread ofsmart phones. LTE, the latest wireless communications standard that enables high-speed data communications of upto 150Mbps, is anticipated to support the ever-increasing demand for mobile broadband services. Even with LTE,however, in overlapping areas (cells) covered by adjacent base stations, inter-cell interference can lead to asignificant degradation in user throughput and possible interruptions to video delivery and other mobile services.In the future, amid increasing volumes of mobile communications traffic, technologies for reducing signal interferenceat cell-edge areas will be crucial in allowing users to enjoy seamless mobile broadband services from any location.
As seen in Figure 1(a), signal interference becomes an issue at cell-edge areas when other overlapping base stationsutilize the same frequencies. Figure 1(b) shows that by employing the frequency reuse (FR) technique, in which eachof the adjacent cells utilize different frequencies, it is possible to reduce inter-cell interference. As a result, however,the frequency bandwidth available to each cell narrows and actually leads to lower throughput.One way to overcome this issue is the fractional frequency reuse (FFR) method (Figure 1(c)), in which onlyoverlapping parts of the cells undergo frequency reuse. This method allocates frequencies between areas close to abase station (cell-center areas) and areas far away from a base station (cell-edge areas). For cell-center areas,transmission power is lowered and the same frequencies are used in all of the cells. On the other hand, cell-edgebands have higher transmission power and undergo frequency reuse.However, the ICIC method in Figure 1(c) assumes that all areas are equal. In actuality, however, inter-cellinterference can still occur for the following reasons:
Signal propagation characteristics of areas differ due to topography and buildings
Different areas with base stations that have varying transmission power and antenna heights
Distance between base stations is uneven due to space constraints