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Heterogeneous network in LTE-advanced system

Heterogeneous network in LTE-advanced system

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Published by Thinh T. Pham
Heterogeneous network in LTE-advanced system
Heterogeneous network in LTE-advanced system

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Published by: Thinh T. Pham on Jun 21, 2012
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Heterogeneous Network in LTE-Advanced System
(Invited)Wan Lei Wu Hai Yu Yinghui
Huawei Technology Ltd.Beijing, China
Zesong Fei
Beijing Institute of TechnologyBeijing, China
 —This paper provides a thorough analysis of thefrequency resource allocation among multi-layers of the intra-RAT (Radio Access Technology) heterogeneous network. Fromthe aspect of the spectrum utilization efficiency, the co-channelheterogeneous network provides higher system capacity, but itscontrol channel coverage and quality is much worse than theorthogonal frequency allocation between macro cell and localcells. Enhancement of co-channel deployment are analyzed andevaluated such as range expansion and the Frequency DivisionDuplexing (FDM)/Time Division Duplexing (TDM) orthogonalcontrol channel design. As a further step of evolution, anapproach with dynamic spectrum sharing among macro cells andlocal cells are proposed to utilize the spared macro uplink resource in the downlink/uplink traffic asymmetric scenario forhotspot local DL access with well-designed interferencemanagement.
 Heterogeneous network; dynamic spectrum sharing; co-channel allocation; orthogonal frequency allocation; LTE- Advanced 
 Wireless networks have experienced flying growth in the past twenty years. The trend is expected to continue with thedeployment of Mobile Broad-Band (MBB) services. In thecoming five to ten years, it is foreseen to have hundreds or even thousands times of the current mobile network capacity.The straightforward way to increase capacity is to apply thenew spectrum to telecommunications. However, fullapplication of new spectrum will happen in a long-term, sohow to effectively use the allocated spectrum is the most urgenttask [1]. Given the limited spectrum resources, cell splittingwith heterogeneous network (HetNet) can effectively improvethe whole system throughput to multi-times of the traditionalhomogeneous network (HomoNet). HetNet can be deployed ina cost-effective manner with low power nodes for local cellsaccess. [2]-[5].In this paper we explore the potential candidates to utilizethe assigned frequency resources more efficiently in the HetNetscenarios. Firstly, it introduces the 3
Generation PartnershipProject (3GPP) official HetNet system modeling andevaluation methodology for Long-Term Evolution (LTE)-Advanced system in Section II. In Section III, the advantagesand disadvantages of different HetNet frequency allocationapproaches are analyzed in detail. Due to limited spectrumresource, the co-channel HetNet deployment is more attractive.Section IV analyzes the issues of the co-channel HetNetdeployment and the corresponding solutions, such as rangeexpansion and control channel orthogonality design. Finally anovel HetNet scheme with dynamic spectrum sharing betweendifferent layers of macro cell and local cells is proposed inSection V, to mach with the MBB downlink (DL) / uplink (UL)traffic asymmetry and variation, which tries to utilize the spareUL spectrum resource for local DL access adaptive to thedynamic traffic statistics.II.
 Heterogeneous deployments consist of deployments withmore than one type of network nodes, i.e. HetNet is a verygeneral concept, even covering inter-RAT network deployment.This paper mainly focuses on intra-RAT HetNet with low power nodes placed throughout a macro-cell layout. Referringto the 3GPP official Technical Report 36.814 [6], the local cellwith associated low power nodes consists of macro, Pico,Home enhanced NodeB (HeNB) and relay nodes, as describedin Table 1, with the typical macro eNB transmission power of 46dBm. HetNet performance is quite dependent on theconcrete deployment scenarios, modeling, parameter settingand the other simulation assumptions. Table 2 shows thescenarios of outdoor Pico evaluations [6], where configuration1 and 4 are widely used in 3GPP evaluations, with moredetailed assumptions and parameters, e.g. propagation modelsreferring to [6].
Table 1 Categorization of local cell nodes
 Node Type Total BS TX power Backhaul AccessRemote radiohead (RRH)Case1: 24, 30 dBm@10MHz carrier Case3: 24, 30, 37 dBm@10MHzcarrier(37dBm is outdoor only)Several slatency tomacroOpen to allUEsPico eNB(node for Hot-zone cells)Case1: 24, 30 dBm@10MHzCase3: 24, 30, 37 dBm@10MHz(37dBm is outdoor only)
 X2Open to allUEsHeNB(node for Femtocells)20 dBm@10MHz carrier  No X2 as baseline(*)ClosedSubscriber Group (CSG)Relay nodesCase1: 30 dBm@10MHz carrier Case3: 30, 37 dBm@10MHz carrier Case1/3 Indoor:DL: 20 dBm@10MHz carrier UL: Indoor donor antenna23 dBm@10MHz carrier Outdoor donor antenna30 dBm @10MHz carrier.Throughair-interfacewith amacro-cell(for in- band RNcase)Open to allUEsTable 2 Deployment of Pico-nodes and user equipment (UE)s
Configuration UE density UEdistributionPicodistributionComments1 Uniform25/macro cellUniform Uncorrelated Capacityenhancement2 Non-uniform[10 – 100]/macro cellUniform Uncorrelated Sensitivity tonon-uniform UEdensity3 Non-uniform[10 – 100]/macro cellUniform Correlated Cell edgeenhancement4, 4a, 4b Non-uniform Clusters Correlated Hotspot capacityenhancement
978-1-4244-7006-8/10/$26.00 ©2010 IEEE
For the convenience of the comparison between HetNet andHomoNet or among different HetNet deployments, the metricof “cell group average throughput” is introduced to evaluate thesystem throughput per unit area, and the unit area is defined asthe single-macro-cell coverage area in the traditional macro-cell-HomoNet. The definition of “cell edge user throughput” isthe same as the traditional macro-cell-HomoNet, i.e. expressingthe 5th percentile of the worst user experience in the wholenetwork deployment.III.
 The frequency allocation among macro cells and local cellsare crucial to HetNet. The following three approaches areanalyzed from the aspects of the capacity and coverage:
Co-channel allocation: macro cells as well as local cellsshare the same entire frequency band.
Orthogonal frequency allocation: macro cells are assignedto a part of the whole frequency resource, and local cellwould use the remaining part, thus, frequency resource between macro cell and local cell is not overlapped.
Overlapped frequency allocation: Frequency resource between marco cells and local cells is overlapped partially.For example, Marco cells are assigned to a part of thewhole frequency resource, while the local cells occupythe whole frequency resource, and vice versa.
The corresponding examples of the three frequency allocationapproaches with 10MHz whole bandwidth are shown inFigure 1.
Figure 1. HetNet channel deployments
System capacity analysis
In this subSection the DL data channel system capacity of the three frequency allocation approaches in Figure 1 areevaluated with HetNet configuration 1, with the full buffer traffic model, 500m inter-site distance, 3GPP Urban channelmodel Case1 [6], and the proportional fair scheduler. TheHetNet system capacity gain over HomoNet for both cell groupaverage throughput and cell edge throughput are shown inFigure 2, where cell selection is based on the traditional RRMmeasurement of received power and quality of referencesignals. It can be seen that:
Frequency overlapped allocation (macro cell with 5MHzand pico cell with 10MHz) could reach a best cell groupaverage throughput due to the local-cell-friendly resourceallocation, but the cell edge throughput is deterioratedobviously over co-channel case since all the cell edgeUEs are macro cell edge UEs, which only have partial bandwidth access.
Orthogonal channel allocation has the worst cell groupaverage throughput due to half of the whole bandwidthcan be used for both macro cells and local cells network wide, but better cell edge throughput than the frequencyoverlap case because there is no inter-cell interference between macro cells and local cells.
Co-channel frequency allocation is a good balance between the cell group average throughput and cell edgethroughput, one reason is that both macro cells and localcells can make full use of the whole bandwidth, another reason is that the cell-edge UEs’ throughput areguaranteed with the proportional fair scheduler.It should be noted that above is only for data channel capacityevaluation, without taken the control channel coverage andquality into account.
Figure 2. HetNet system capacity gain over HomoNet, comparison amongthree frequency allocation approaches
Control channel coverage analysis
The system capacity evaluation in the last sub-Sectionassumes full buffer traffic without considering the controlchannel coverage. Local cell deployment, as an efficientmeasure to offload the hotspot UEs and high traffic from macrocells, would have different load and coverage depending on thefrequency planning.
Figure 3. SINR distributions of HetNet channel deployments (macro cell Tx power 46dBm)
Figure 3 shows the geometry contours of UEs among thewhole area with different local cell transmission powers for  both co-channel and orthogonal frequency allocationapproaches, by calculating the average received signal tointerference and noise ratio (SINR) experienced by thereference signals and control channel. Users select macro cellor local cell with the highest received SINR, i.e. based on the
control channel coverage. Several analysis and conclusion can be achieved that:
Control channel coverage of local cell is much larger withorthogonal frequency allocation than with co-channelallocation. With orthogonal frequency allocation, due tono inter-cell interference from macro cells to local cells,and low inter-cell interference among local cells due dolow antenna height and sparsely distributed local cellnodes, the local cell coverage is quite robust against thelocal cell transmission power. However, in co-channelapproach, it is quite sensitive to the local cell transmission power, mainly due to the interference from the 9~12dBhigher aggressor macro cell transmission power.
SINR distribution with orthogonal frequency allocation issignificantly higher than that with co-channel allocation,which is also due to no interference from the high-power macro cell to the low-power local cells. It wouldguarantee the correctness of cell synchronization andcontrol signaling reception.According to above analysis orthogonal channel allocationoutperforms the co-channel allocation in terms of the controlchannel coverage and quality, thus it is expected to have better macro cell traffic offload effect than co-channel allocation,especially for the practical non-full-buffer traffics.IV.
 Section III shows that co-channel HetNet deployment has better system capacity with full buffer type of traffic, while itscontrol channel coverage and traffic offload effect are worsethan the orthogonal frequency assignment approach. Inaddition, since the DL transmission power differs a lot betweeen macro cell and local cells, while UL transmission power is the same for a certain UE, the DL and UL coverageand quality would be seriously unbalanced.However, co-channel allocation is still an attractive HetNetdeployment due to limited spectrum resources for operators.Accordingly, this Section investigates the potentialimprovement of the co-channel HetNet deployment, includingthe range expansion of local cells and the control channelenhancement.
 Range expansion and evaluation
Limited by the local cell transmission power and the stronginterference from macro cells, the local cell coverage is quitelimited, which means that only a small percentage of users can benefit from local cell deployment. To offload the macro celltraffic more, as well as to solve the UL and DL coverageunbalance, range expansion (RE) is introduced for local cellswith a positive bias to local cells in the cell selection.Table 3 provides the data channel performance evaluationfor HetNet with different RE bias, with full buffer traffic model.It can be seen that a good balance between cell group averagethroughput and cell edge throughput is reached with 6~9dB RE bias in this scenario, while very large RE bias as 16dB does not provide good cell edge throughput. RE may further jointlydesigned with inter-cell interference coordination inheterogeneous networks, which can be regarded as one simpleimplementation of coordinated multiple-points transmissionand reception (CoMP). Thus some high RE biases are not precluded in the future hotspot deployment for the sake of loadsharing and UL/DL coverage unbalance solution.
Table 3. HetNet evaluation with different range expansion biasRange extension Bias (dB)Cell group averagespectral efficiency(bit/s/Hz/Cell)Cell edgespectral efficiency(bit/s/Hz)0dB RE bias (no RE) 8.84 0.0523dB RE bias 8.7 0.0636dB RE bias 8.51 0.0689dB RE bias 8.31 0.06316dB RE bias 8.98 0.015
 Downlink control channel enhancement 
For HetNet co-channel deployment with local cell rangeexpansion, the UEs in the expanded area would experience theinter-cell interference that is higher than the serving cell signal.For those UEs, their receiving quality of the synchronizationchannel and control channels can hardly be guaranteed. Thus itis critical to investigate the DL control channel enhancementfor co-channel deployment.The most effective solution to guarantee the DL controlchannel quality is the orthogonal control channel design between macro cells and local cells, either in frequency domain(FDM) or in time domain (TDM).
Figure 4. Control channel shrinking of Non-CA based FDM solution
Two candidates are proposed for FDM control channelorthogonality design [8~12]:
Carrier aggregation (CA) in Rel.10 with cross componentcarrier (CC) scheduling can be used to avoid the controlchannel colliding between macro cell and local cells.Each cell layer transmits the control signaling with high power in different CC sets. In other words, controlchannels locating on multiple CCs have the differentcoverage due to the different transmission power. CA- based FDM solution does not work for the UEs withoutCA capability. In addition, CA-based solution can onlywork for the bandwidth that is the summation of Rel.8supported bandwidths, which would end to a resourcewaste for some practical scenarios and narrow bandwidth.
 Non-CA FDM solutions, referred to as control channelshrinking in Figure 4, is the improvement of the CA- based solution for the low bandwidth HetNet deployment.Shrinking the control channels to only part of the whole bandwidth (e.g. macro cell in frequency range f1, localcell in frequency range f2, both f1 and f2 are Rel.8 backward compatible bandwidths), and the control

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