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Effect of Relaying on Coverage in 3GPP LTE-Advanced

Effect of Relaying on Coverage in 3GPP LTE-Advanced

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Published by Thinh T. Pham

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Published by: Thinh T. Pham on Jun 23, 2012
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12/21/2012

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 Abstract 
 — 
 
Current broadband wireless networks arecharacterized by large cell sizes. Yet, even in advanced networksthat will be built using 3GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE), alsoreferred to as 3GPP LTE-Advanced, or mobile WiMAX radiointerface, users on the cell edge will face relatively low Signal-to-Interference-plus-Noise-Ratio (SINR). An attractive solution forthis problem is provided by multihop technologies. In this paperwe consider the feasibility of Decode and Forward (DF) RelayNodes (RNs) from 3GPP LTE-Advanced perspective. We proposea novel evaluation methodology that can be used to find arelation of RN transmission power, ratio between number of BaseStations (BSs) and RNs, and performance of the system.Evaluation of DF relays in 3GPP LTE-Advanced framework indicates a good performance gain.
 Index Terms
 — 
 
LTE, LTE-Advanced, Decode and Forwardrelay, cost modeling, evaluation methodology.
I.
 
I
 NTRODUCTION
 The Long Term Evolution (LTE) is a new air interfacedesigned by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).The underlying radio technology is based on OrthogonalFrequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) and it appliessophisticated scheduling and multi-antenna methods. 3GPPLTE will also admit higher peak data rates and more users per cell as well as lower control plane latency than currentlyemployed 3G Wideband Code Division Multiple Access(WCDMA) and High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) [1]. Yet,enhancements in radio link technology will not solve the basic problem related to propagation loss: coverage and capacity atthe cell border remain relatively small due to low Signal-to-Interference-plus-Noise-Ratio (SINR) [2].A very promising solution to overtake the above mentioned problem is represented by Relay Nodes (RNs). Deploying RNsnear the cell edge will help to increase the capacity [3] or,alternatively, to extend the cell coverage area [4]. Whileconventional Amplify and Forward (AF) relays can be used toincrease the coverage, the basic problem is that they amplifynot only desired signal but also both interference and noise.Therefore AF relays provide best benefit in noise limited
1
Ph.D. Student at Helsinki University of Technology
system deployment while the benefit from their usage in presence of heavy interference is limited. On the other hand,Decode and Forward (DF) relays detect the desired signal andthen encode and forward it. Therefore DF relays are applicablealso in interference limited environments and thus, they can beused to improve system capacity.
 
This paper considers DF relaying only and thus, while usingthe term RN we refer to a DF relay node. We propose a novelevaluation methodology that can be used to find the relation of RN transmission power, ratio between number of BaseStations (BSs) and RNs, and performance of the system. Wehave adopted 3G LTE framework because discussion of therole of DF relays in evolution of 3G LTE (LTE-Advanced)has just started. Due to this selection we refer to a base station by the 3GPP term enhanced Node B (eNB).The rest of the paper is organized as follows: Section II presents the rationale behind the relay node deployment, the benefits and the scenarios that seem to be most promising. InSection III details of the adopted evaluation methodology areintroduced and results of the simulations are provided inSection IV. Conclusions are drawn in Section V.II.
 
ELAY
B
ASED
D
EPLOYMENT
 We consider a simple scenario where at most two hops areallowed. Such a scenario is most attractive from a practical perspective because system complexity is strongly related tothe number of hops. This approach allows three different typesof links: by direct link we refer to the connection betweeneNB and UE, the relay link is carried out between eNB andRN, and term access link is used for the link between RN andUE.One of the expected main benefits of the relay baseddeployment is the more fair spread of the capacity over thecell. In a traditional cellular network UEs near the eNBusually experience a capacity that is higher than the one facedon the cell edge. By use of relays fairness is improved in thecell although UEs near the eNB will achieve lower peak ratesthan in single hop networks. This decrease is due to the factthat some resources must be assigned to the relay link and theinterference is increased by the RN transmissions. On the
Effect of Relaying on Coverage in3GPP LTE-Advanced
Tommaso Beniero
*1
, Simone Redana
*
, Jyri Hämäläinen
+
, Bernhard Raaf 
*
 
*)
 Nokia Siemens Networks, St. Martin Strasse 76, 81541, Munich, Germanysimone.redana@nsn.com; bernhard.raaf@nsn.com
+)
Helsinki University of Technology, P.O. Box 3000, FIN-02015 HUT, Finland jyri.hamalainen@tkk.fi
978-1-4244-2517-4/09/$20.00 ©2009 IEEE
 
 other hand, UEs near the cell edge that are connected to a RNexperience better throughput than in traditional networks.Relays are seen as a mean to enhance system capacity andto extend coverage but also as a cost efficient solution incoverage limited scenario. The impact on the operators business model is presented in [5] in terms of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) over 5 years. The TCO comprises one timecosts, like CAPEX (Capital Expense, i.e. equipment cost) andIMPEX (Implementing Expense, i.e. one time services for  planning and implementation as well as site related costs likesite acquisition and construction, etc.), and recurring OPEX(Operating Expense, i.e. O&M, site rent etc.). In [5] it isshown that mid and high power RNs can yield operatorssaving of 30% and more.DF relays introduce some challenges to the 3GPP LTEfuture evolution (3GPP LTE-Advanced) as well. In some proposed layer 2 relay approaches the optimization of layer 2 procedures requires a heavy design effort and systemcomplexity easily becomes intolerable when the number of hops exceeds two. On the other hand, the proposed layer 3approach provides an attractive option where RNs are morelike eNBs with wireless backhauling and design effort focusonly on relay link. Yet, such a design is not optimized frome.g. delay perspective and it may happen that the tolerabledelay limits the number of hops to two. Fortunately the control plane delay in 3GPP LTE design is extremely small enablingrelay considerations in later releases.Finally, we note that the network planning in case of relay based deployment is another crucial issue but since this is notin the focus of this paper we only refer to [6] and [7] for amore comprehensive discussion. There a scenario isrepresented where RNs are located on lampposts. This kind of deployment presents some benefits, such as the possibility to provide power supply at low costs and the opportunity toexploit the well distributed network of lampposts. Yet, wenote that lamppost deployment is more suitable for low power relays with small coverage. If noticeable enhancement in cellcoverage is aimed, then RN transmission power and size needsto be increased and e.g. building wall deployment is a better solution.III.
 
E
VALUATION
M
ETHODOLOGY OF
ELAY
U
SE FOR 
C
OVERAGE
E
XTENSION
 The proposed evaluation methodology aims to identifyscenarios where relay extension presents a remarkablethroughput increase with respect to eNB only deployment andtrades this gain in a decrease of the number of eNBs necessaryto provide the same coverage as without relays.We note that the impact of relays can be investigated either from network capacity or coverage perspective. In former casethe inter-site distance (ISD) is fixed and increase in cellthroughput defines the gain of relaying. In latter case we fix acertain throughput criterion and positive impact of relaying isused to increase the ISD with respect to the reference scenario.In this paper we have adopted the coverage perspective andwe explore scenarios with different combinations of ISD andRNs that provide the same performance in terms of coverage.In the following, we refer to them as iso-performancescenarios.The 10%-tile of the throughput CDF is assumed as a performance comparison criterion. This value has been chosenas coverage indication because it represents the group of UEswith worst channel conditions and located near the cell edge.In Section III.B the combinations of ISD and RNs areobtained by means of an iterative algorithm. In Section III.Awe analytically derive the end-to-end throughput for UEsconnected to the RNs. From obtained formula we see howresources consumed by the relay link reduce the achievablethroughput on the access link.
 A.
 
 End-to-end throughput 
In this section we analytically derive the end-to-end (e2e)throughput when the UE is not directly served by the eNB butthrough K-hop relaying composed of K links.
 Proposition 1.
Assume optimal resource division betweenlinks which compose the K-hop connection. Then the e2ethroughput is of the form:
112
1
=
 ⎠ ⎞⎝ ⎛ 
=
 K Opt ee
,(1)where T
is the maximum achievable throughput on
th link.
 Proof.
Consider a K-hop connection where each link uses afraction R 
of the total available resources R:
=
=
 K 
 R R
1
.(2)Then the e2e throughput is given by:
{ }
R R R R
 K  K ee
=
,,,min
22112
.(3)This throughput is maximized when equal amount of information is transferred over each link. Hence, in optimalcase we have
 K n R R
nnOpt ee
,,2,1,
2
==
 (4)and the e2e throughput admits the expression:
 R R
nnOpt ee
=
2
.(5)Combining equations (5) and (2) we finally have:
111112
1
====
 ⎠ ⎞⎝ ⎛ 
====
 K  K nn K nn K nnOpt ee
 R R R R
 (6)and the proof of (1) is complete.We emphasize that (1) is valid when all links admit thesame throughput. If rates on different links vary, then e2ethroughput is obtained as a minimum over the throughputs onall sub-links.
 
 
 B.
 
 Iso-performance scenarios
RN ++same10%-tile thr.CDF?RN = 0; ISD = 500 m
YESNO
Change ISDISD = 500 m(RN, ISD)
step 1step 2step 3step 0
 
RN ++same10%-tile thr.CDF?RN = 0; ISD = 500 m
YESNO
Change ISDISD = 500 m(RN, ISD)
step 1step 2step 3step 0
 
Figure 1. Algorithm used to explore iso-performance scenarios.
We use the term iso-performance scenario to refer RN andISD combinations that provide the same performance in termsof the 10%-tile throughput CDF. In Figure 1 we haveillustrated the algorithm that is used to explore iso- performance scenarios. The reference scenario of ISD 500mwithout relays is first assumed (step 0). Then one relay per sector is deployed (step 1) and the ISD is increased until the10%-tile CDF throughput is the same as in the referencescenario (step 2). As an output the algorithm provides the RN,ISD combination (step 3). Then the algorithm can becontinued by placing another relay in each sector (step 1).Algorithm iteratively obtains iso-performance scenariosadding one relay per sector at each iteration until themaximum number of relays per sector (denoted by RN
max
) isreached. See Section IV.A for more details on RNdeployment, in particular Figure 3.
0123450510152025303540
RNs per Km
2
  e   N   B  s  p  e  r   K  m
   2
 
N
RN
N
eNB
 
Figure 2. Example of a iso-performance curve.
An iso-performance curve (also known as indifference map,see [7]) is defined as a set of points, each corresponding in acertain area to different combinations of RNs per sector andeNBs with equal performance. Main benefit from iso- performance curves is that they can be used to obtain theexchange ratio between eNBs and RNs while keeping thesame performance in terms of 10%-tile CDF throughput.An example iso-performance curve is depicted in Figure 2,where the exchange ratio is obtained by plotting the dashedstraight line. From this example we can derive that N
eNB
can be substituted with N
RN
, or equivalently one eNB can besubstituted with a number RNs equals to N
RN
/N
eNB
.IV.
 
P
ERFORMANCE
E
VALUATION
ESULTS
 The methodology illustrated in the previous section has been implemented in Matlab and evaluated in 3GPP LTE-Advanced system. In Section IV.A we shortly introduce theapplied simulation model, while in Section IV.B simulationresults are given.
 A.
 
Simulation model 
TABLE I. S
IMULATION
P
ARAMETERS
 
Parameter Value
Carrier frequency 2 GHzChannel bandwidth 20 MHz Number of cells 19 (cellular hexagonal layout)Spatial channel model WINNER II channel modelsPenetration loss 20 dB (not on the relay link)Total margin 30 dBTraffic model Full buffer - Downlink 
eNB parameters
eNB location/height 25m (above rooftop)eNB number of sectors 3eNB antennas per sector 4 (horizontal array)eNB max tx power per sector 46 dBmeNB elevation + antenna gain 14 dBieNB noise figure 5 dB
RN parameters
 RN location/height 5m (below rooftop)RN antennas 1 (omnidirectional)RN max tx power per sector 24, 38 dBmRN elevation + antenna gain 9 dBiRN noise figure 7 dBRN
max
12
UE parameters
UE location/height 1.5mUE antennas 2 (cross-polarized)UE elevation + antenna gain 0 dBiUE noise figure 7 dB Number UEs Single user 
Iso-performance scenarios are simulated in a network that isrepresented by a regular hexagonal cellular layout with 19cells, variable number of RNs per sector (up to RN
max
) andvariable ISD. Simulation setup follows assumptions in EU project WINNER II [8] and Table 1 illustrates parameters usedin the simulations
2
.Parameters for RNs follow recommendations from EU project WINNER II [10][11]. We consider single antenna RNs
2
Simulation assumptions agreed in 3GPP are available in [9]. They were notavailable when this work was published.

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