Investigation on Cell Selection Methods Associated with

Inter-cell Interference Coordination in Heterogeneous
Networks for LTE-Advanced Downlink
Jaturong Sangiamwong, Yuya Saito, Nobuhiko Miki, Tetsushi Abe, Satoshi Nagata, and Yukihiko Okumura
NTT DOCOMO, INC.
3-6 Hikari-no-oka, Yokosuka-shi, Kanagawa-ken 239-8536 Japan
Abstract- In LTE-Advanced, a heterogeneous network where
femtocells and picocells overlaid onto macrocells is extensively
discussed in addition to traditional well-planned macrocell
deployment to improve further the system throughput. In
heterogeneous network deployment, cell selection as well as inter-
cell interference coordination (ICIC) is very important to improve
the system and cell-edge throughput. Therefore, this paper
investigates three cell selection methods associated with ICIC in
heterogeneous networks in the LTE-Advanced downlink: signal-
to-interference plus noise power ratio (SINR)-based cell selection,
reference signal received power (RSRP)-based cell selection, and
reference signal received quality (RSRQ)-based cell selection.
Simulation results (4 pico eNodeBs and 25 set of user equipment
are uniformly located within 1 macro eNodeB) assuming full
buffer model show that the downlink cell and cell-edge user
throughput levels of RSRP-based cell selection are degraded by
approximately 3% and 10% compared to those of SINR-based
cell selection under the condition of the maximizing the cell-edge
user throughput due to the impairment of the interference level.
Furthermore, it is shown that the downlink cell-edge user
throughput of RSRQ-based cell selection is improved
approximately 5%, although the cell throughput is degraded
approximately 5% compared to that for SINR-based cell selection
under the condition of the maximizing the cell-edge user
throughput.
I. INTRODUCTION
The commercial services of the Universal Mobile
Telecommunications System (UMTS) Long-Term Evolution
(LTE) called the Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access
(UTRA) and Universal Terrestrial Radio Access Network
(UTRAN), which was finalized as Release 8 (simply LTE
hereafter) in the 3
rd
generation partnership project (3GPP) [1],
were launched in Japan in 2010. LTE supports efficient packet-
based radio access and radio access networks that provide full
IP-based functionalities with low latency and low cost.
Following the decision on the available frequency-spectrum
outline at the World Radiocommunication Conference 2007
(WRC-07) in November 2007 [2], standardization of an LTE-
Advanced radio interface was initiated in the 3GPP. The
requirements for LTE-Advanced were agreed upon in [3] and
the radio interface techniques were discussed and summarized
in a technical report during the study item (SI) phase [4].
Following the SI phase, the work item (WI) specifications on
LTE-Advanced were initiated as Release 10 and beyond.
In LTE-Advanced, heterogeneous network deployment [5]
was extensively discussed in addition to traditional well-
planned macrocell deployment to improve further the system
Macro eNodeB
Macro coverage in downlink/uplink
(No power difference between macro eNodeBs)
Pico coverage in uplink Pico coverage in downlink
Pico eNodeB
Pico eNodeB
Problem caused by difference in power between macro and pico eNodeBs
(a) Downlink and uplink imbalance
Macro eNodeB
Macro coverage in downlink/uplink Pico coverage in
downlink/uplink
Pico eNodeB
Pico eNodeB
UE suffers from severe interference from macro eNodeB
(b) Cell range expansion
Figure 1. Problems in pico deployments.
throughput. In heterogeneous network deployment, low power
nodes such as femto, pico, and relay nodes are placed
throughout a macrocell layout, and they are placed generally in
an unplanned manner [4]. Among the low power nodes, the
introduction of picocells is important in order to accommodate
efficiently high volume traffic in local areas, i.e., hotspots, and
enhance the overall system capacity. However, a
downlink/uplink imbalance problem occurs. The downlink
coverage of the macrocell is much larger than that of the
picocells due to a difference in the transmission power. On the
other hand, the difference in transmission power does not
affect the coverage in the uplink, since the transmitter is the set
of user equipment (UE). Therefore, the optimum cell in the
downlink is different than that in the uplink as shown in Fig.
1(a). Furthermore, the number of UEs connected to the
picocells is much smaller than the number of UEs connected to
the macrocell due to a smaller coverage area compared to that
for the macrocell. In order for the UEs connected to the
macrocell to move to the picocell, cell range expansion (CRE)
[5] is proposed. Here, the CRE is also effective to compensate
for the downlink/uplink imbalance, which is discussed in Fig.
1(a). Although the UEs select the cell with the maximum
received power in general, the received power of the picocell is
biased with a predetermined offset to be selected with high
probability in the CRE. According to the increase in the offset
European Wireless 2011, April 27-29, 2011, Vienna, Austria ISBN 978-3-8007-3343-9 © VDE VERLAG GMBH
Paper 1569384145 117
value, the offloaded UEs will suffer severe interference from
the macrocell. Therefore, the offloading gain will be limited as
shown in Fig. 1(b). In order to improve the offloading gain,
applying inter-cell interference coordination (ICIC) [6] with
the CRE is proposed [5]. Different from the ICIC in a
homogeneous network, the macrocell only needs to reduce the
transmission power (or stop transmission) in specific
time/frequency resources to protect the UEs connected to the
picocells, since the interference from the picocells is not a
problem. By defining the protected resources for the picocells,
the other cell interference in the picocells becomes very small.
Therefore, the gain from offloading to the picocells through the
CRE is much improved.
The CRE, which adds an offset value to the reference signal
received power (RSRP), is used to select the non-optimum
cells in the downlink [5]. However, the optimum offset value
differs for different geographical locations between
macro/picocells and UEs since the interference levels from the
macrocells and picocells also differ. Therefore, this paper
investigates other cell selection methods associated with
downlink ICIC. In the rest of the paper, Section II describes the
cell association techniques associated with downlink ICIC
discussed in the paper. Then, the simulation configuration is
given in Section III. Finally, we present the simulation results
in Section IV, followed by our concluding statements in
Section V.
II. CELL SELECTION METHODS ASSOCIATED WITH DOWNLINK
INTERFERENCE COORDINATION
As discussed in Section I, the downlink ICIC, where the
macrocell only needs to reduce the transmission power (or stop
transmission) in specific time/frequency resources to protect
the UEs connected to the picocells (hereafter referred to as
protected resources), is important to improve the capacity.
Therefore, the downlink ICIC should be taken into account in
the cell selection method. In such cases, the interference levels
are different for the different resources and macro/picocells as
shown in Fig. 2. Furthermore, considering the downlink ICIC,
the picocells generally send data to the UEs connected to the
picocells using the protected resources, although the
macrocells send data to the UEs connected to the macrocells
using other resources (hereafter referred as non-protected
resources). In the paper, three cell selection methods are
evaluated.
A. Signal-to-Interference-Plus-Noise Power Ratio (SINR)-
Based Cell Selection
In order to obtain accurate channel quality for cell selection,
the average received SINR is the best criterion. Although it is
not specified in the LTE, this scheme is investigated as a
reference scheme. In SINR-based cell selection, the average
SINR in the protected resources (non-protected resources) for
pico(macro)cells is used for cell selection as shown in Fig. 2.
In order to obtain the offload effect from macro to picocells, an
additional offset value, o
SINR
, is introduced and the UE selects
the cell index based on the following criteria.
Macro
Pico
Non-protected
resources
Severe
interference
Light
interference
No (or small)
transmission power
No (little) interference
Protected
resources
Relatively small
transmission
power in pico
Different interference levels for different resources
Figure 2. Measurement resources for cell selection.
arg max
SINR i
i
i ¸
¬
' = and
,
( )
( )
i Nonprotected i
i Protected,i SINR
Macrocell
Picocell
¸ ¸
¸ ¸ o
' = ¦
¦
´
' = +
¦
¹
,
(1)
where i, i
SINR
, ¸
Nonprotected,i
, ¸
Protected,i
and ¸'
i
, represent the cell
index (including sector), selected cell index based on the
SINR-based criteria, the average SINR of the non-protected
resources for the i-th cell, the average SINR of the protected
resources for the i-th cell, and the SINR value of the i-th cell to
be used for cell selection, respectively. Here, the average SINR
is defined as the SINR averaged over the instantaneous fading.
B. RSRP-Based Cell Selection
If ICIC is employed, RSRP-based cell selection is not optimum,
since it only reflects the received power from each cell and
does not reflect the channel quality of the respective resources.
However, simple extension by adding offset values for the
picocells can be used to compensate for the difference in
channel quality between macro and picocells [5]. Therefore,
the UE selects the cell index based on the following criteria.
arg max
RSRP i
i
i s
¬
' = and
( )
( )
i i
i i RSRP
s s Macrocell
s s Picocell o
' = ¦
´
' = +
¹
,
(2)
where i
RSRP
, s
i
, s'
i
, and o
RSRP
represent the selected cell index
based on the RSRP-based criteria, the RSRP of the i-th cell, the
RSRP of the i-th cell to be used for cell selection, and the
offset value, respectively. The RSRP value is defined as the
averaged value over the instantaneous variation. Although the
offset value in the SINR-based cell selection is mainly used to
obtain the offload effect, the offset value in the RSRP-based
cell selection is also used to compensate for the difference in
interference level (the interference level in the picocells
becomes lower compared to that in the macrocells thanks to the
reduction in the transmission power of the macrocell for the
protected resources) as shown in Fig. 2. Therefore, a higher
offset value is required for the RSRP-based cell selection.
118
C. Reference Signal Received Quality (RSRQ)-Based Cell
Selection
In LTE, two types of cell selection methods are specified. The
first one is the RSRP-based cell selection, which was discussed
previously. The other is the RSRQ-based cell selection. The
RSRQ is defined by the RSRP divided by the total received
power, i.e., received signal strength indicator (RSSI) [7]. The
RSRQ is proportional to the value defined as follows under full
load conditions.
1
RSRP S SINR
RSRQ
RSSI S I N SINR
= · =
+ + +
, (3)
where S, I, N, and SINR represent the received power of the
desired cell, interference power, background noise power, and
SINR, respectively. The RSRQ value is defined as the
averaged value over the instantaneous variation. As shown in
(3), according to the increase in the SINR, the RSRQ is
increased. Therefore, RSRQ-based cell selection functions in
the same manner as the SINR-based cell selection without
offset. By using the offset value, o
RSRQ
, the UE selects the cell
index based on the following criteria.
arg max
RSRQ i
i
i µ
¬
' = and
,
,
( )
( )
i Nonprotected i
i Protected i RSRQ
Macrocell
Picocell
µ µ
µ µ o
' ' = ¦
¦
´
' ' = +
¦
¹
,
(4)
where i
RSRQ
, µ
Nonprotected,i
, µ
Protected,i
and µ'
i
, represent the selected
cell index based on the RSRQ-based criteria, the RSRQ in the
non-protected resources for the i-th cell, the RSRQ in the
protected resources for the i-th cell, and the RSRQ value of the
i-th cell to be used for cell selection, respectively. By
introducing the offset value in RSRQ-based cell selection,
different offset values will be required compared to SINR-
based cell selection due to the different gradients in the RSRQ
function as shown in Fig. 3. As shown in the figure, a 1 dB
increase from -4 to -3 dB (-1.5 dB to -0.5 dB) in RSRQ
coincides with a 2 (5) dB increase in SINR. This indicates that
when a 1 dB offset is introduced in RSRQ-based cell selection,
-10
-8
-6
-4
-2
0
-10 -5 0 5 10 15 20
R
S
R
Q

i
n

f
u
l
l

l
o
a
d

(
d
B
)
SINR (dB)
1 dB
1 dB
2 dB 5 dB
Figure 3. Difference in SINR and RSRQ-based cell selection.
it is regarded as a 2 dB SINR offset for the UE with the SINR
from the macrocell of 0 dB and 5 dB SINR for the UE with the
SINR from the macrocell of 9 dB. As a result, by using the
RSRQ-based cell selection, more UEs with a higher SINR
from the macrocells are offloaded to the picocells, compared to
that using the SINR-based cell selection.
III. SIMULATION CONDITIONS
In order to evaluate the effect of the cell selection methods
associated with downlink ICIC, a system level simulation is
performed. Fig. 4 and Table I show the simulation model and
major simulation parameters, respectively. In the evaluation,
simple time-domain resource partitioning is employed.
Therefore, half of the resources are used for protected and non-
protected resources as shown in Fig. 4(c). As a reference, the
performance without picocells is also evaluated as shown in
Fig. 4(a). Furthermore, the performance with picocells and
without ICIC, i.e., picocells are completely overlaid with
macrocells, is also evaluated as shown in Fig. 4(b).
We employed a 19-hexagonal macrocell model with 3
sectors per cell. We assume that 4 picocells are randomly
located within each sector with a uniform distribution. The cell
radius of the macrocells is set to 289 m. The locations of the 25
UEs in the macrocells are assigned randomly with a uniform
distribution. In the propagation model, we take into account
distance-dependent path loss with the decay factor of 3.76
(3.67), lognormal shadowing with the standard deviation of 8
dB (10 dB) for the macro (pico) eNodeB, and instantaneous
multipath fading. It is assumed that the distance-dependent
path loss and shadowing are constant, while the time-varying
instantaneous fading variations are added in the performance
measurement. The shadowing correlation between the cells
(sectors) is set to 0.5 (1.0). The 6-ray typical urban (TU)
channel model wi t h t he r oot mean squar e (r . m. s. )
Time
1 subframe (=1 msec)
F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y
Macro radio resources
(a) Case 0: Macro only
Time
F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y
Macro radio resources Pico radio resources
(b) Case 1: Macro and pico overlay without ICIC
Time
F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y
Macro radio resources Pico radio resources
Non-protected resources
Protected resources
(c) Case 2: Macro and pico overlay with ICIC
Figure 4. Simulation model.
119
Table I. Simulation Parameters
Chase combining
Hybrid ARQ
(Packet combining)
10 MHz System bandwidth
Proportional fairness Scheduling algorithm
6 msec
Control delay
(scheduling, AMC)
8 msec
Round trip delay
(Hybrid ARQ)
Macro Pico
Cellular layout
19 cell sites,
3 sectors per site
4 picocells per sector
Cell radius 289 m
Distance-dependent path loss 128.1 + 37.6log
10
(R) dB 140.7 + 36.7log
10
(R) dB
Shadowing standard deviation 8 dB 10 dB
Shadowing correlation
0.5 (between cells),
1 (between sectors)
0.5
Penetration loss 20 dB
Moving speed 3 km/h
Total BS Tx power 46 dBm 30 dBm
Antenna configuration 2 x 2 (Uncorrelated)
Antenna gain 14 dBi 5 dBi
Number of UEs Total 25 UEs per sector in macrocell
Carrier frequency 2 GHz
Chase combining
Hybrid ARQ
(Packet combining)
10 MHz System bandwidth
Proportional fairness Scheduling algorithm
6 msec
Control delay
(scheduling, AMC)
8 msec
Round trip delay
(Hybrid ARQ)
Macro Pico
Cellular layout
19 cell sites,
3 sectors per site
4 picocells per sector
Cell radius 289 m
Distance-dependent path loss 128.1 + 37.6log
10
(R) dB 140.7 + 36.7log
10
(R) dB
Shadowing standard deviation 8 dB 10 dB
Shadowing correlation
0.5 (between cells),
1 (between sectors)
0.5
Penetration loss 20 dB
Moving speed 3 km/h
Total BS Tx power 46 dBm 30 dBm
Antenna configuration 2 x 2 (Uncorrelated)
Antenna gain 14 dBi 5 dBi
Number of UEs Total 25 UEs per sector in macrocell
Carrier frequency 2 GHz
delay spread of 1.06 µsec [8] is assumed. The maximum
Doppler frequency, f
D
, is set to 5.55 Hz, which corresponds to
3 km/h at the carrier frequency of 2 GHz. The transmission
power of the eNodeBs for the macrocells and picocells is 46
dBm and 30 dBm, respectively. The antenna gain at the macro
eNodeB, pico eNodeB, and UE are 14 dBi, 5 dBi, and 0 dBi,
respectively. Two-antenna transmission and two-antenna
diversity reception are assumed. In the evaluation, full buffer
traffic model is used. Furthermore, the interference from cell-
specific reference signal (CRS) is not taken into account
assuming the cancelation at the UE receiver or configuring the
multicast/broadcast over single-frequency network (MBSFN)
subframes [9].
IV. SIMULATION RESULTS
In order to evaluate the difference in cell selection, A
SINR
is
defined as follows.
SINR macro pico
¸ ¸ A = ÷ ,
(5)
where ¸
macro
and ¸
pico
represent the maximum SINR values
macro, picocells, which are defined as
max ( )
max ( )
macro i
i
pico i
i
Macrocell
Picocell
¸ ¸
¸ ¸
¬
¬
= ¦
¦
´
=
¦
¹
.
(6)
In the same manner, A
RSRP
, and A
RSRQ
are defined by
replacing ¸
i
with s
i
and µ
i
in (6). Figure 5 shows the cumulative
distribution function (CDF) of A
SINR
, A
RSRP
, and A
RSRQ
.
Furthermore, the CDF of A
RSRP
–10 dB is also plotted for
comparison. From Fig. 5, the number of UEs in the picocells is
derived for the respective cell selection methods. For example,
looking at the CDF of A
SINR
of 0 dB, approximately 45% of the
UEs have a negative A
SINR
, which means that 45% of the UEs
are connected to the picocells without an offset value.
Similarly, looking at A
SINR
of 4.0 (7.0) dB, 60 (70) % of the
UEs are connected to the picocells with o
SINR
= 4.0 (7.0) dB.
-40 -20 0 20 40
0
20
40
60
80
100
A
SINR
, A
RSRP
, A
RSRQ
(dB)
C
D
F

(
%
)
SINR based
RSRP based
RSRP based - 10dB
RSRQ based
Figure 5. CDF of A
SINR
, A
RSRP
, and A
RSRQ
.
Compared to the CDFs of A
SINR
and A
RSRP
, an approximate 10
dB difference is observed, since the interference power
difference should be compensated for RSRP-based cell
selection as discussed in Section II. However, the CDF of A
SINR
and A
RSRP
–10 dB becomes different when the A
SINR
is below -
10 dB. Furthermore, comparing the CDFs of A
SINR
and A
RSRQ
,
the gradient is different due to the different functions as shown
in Fig. 3. In order to compare the offloaded UE distributions in
picocells for different cell selections, Fig. 6 shows the CDF of
the pathloss from the macro eNodeBs of the UEs connected to
the picocells, assuming the same percentage, i.e., 60% of the
UEs are connected to the picocells. This is achieved by using
the o
SINR
of 4 dB, o
RSRP
of 14 dB, and o
RSRQ
of 1 dB (See Fig.
5). Here, the pathloss is defined as the loss comprising
distance-dependent path loss and shadowing variation,
including the antenna gain. In the figure, the CDF for all UEs
are also plotted as a reference (Same performance for three cell
selection schemes). Even though the total number of UEs
connected to the picocells is larger than that of the macrocells
in this case, the number of UEs connected to the macrocells is
still large for the UEs with smaller pathloss from the
macrocells. For example, the UEs with the pathloss from the
macro eNodeB is less than 100 dB, the CDF of UEs connected
to t he picocel ls using RSRP-based cel l sel ecti on is
approximately 10%, although that for all UEs is approximately
30%. This indicates that the UEs connected to the picocells are
non-uniformly distributed, i.e., more UEs are located in a large
pathloss region, i.e., the cell-edge of the macro coverage. This
tendency is most dominant for the RSRP-based cell selection.
This is because the difference in the interference in the two
resources, which must be compensated in RSRP-based cell
selection, is dependent on the pathloss from the macrocell.
Furthermore, due to the gradient difference for the SINR and
RSRQ function as discussed in Section II, more UEs with a
higher SINR from the macrocells, i.e., cell site of the macrocell,
are offloaded to the picocells. Figure 7 shows the resultant
average SINR distribution for the respective resources, i.e.,
protected and non-protected resources for picocells and non-
protected resources for macrocells. In the evaluation,
120
80 90 100 110 120 130
0
20
40
60
80
100
Pathloss from macro eNodeB (dB)
C
D
F

(
%
)
SINR based
RSRP based
RSRQ based
All UEs
UEs connected to picocells
UEs connected to
picocells
Figure 6. CDF of pathloss from macro eNodeBs
of UEs connected to picocells.
-20 -10 0 10 20 30
0
20
40
60
80
100
Average received SINR (dB)
C
D
F

(
%
)
SINR based
RSRP based
RSRQ based
Pico
(Non-protected)
Pico
(Protected)
Macro
Figure 7. CDF of average SINR.
the distant-dependent pathloss and shadowing are taken into
account, although variation in the instantaneous fading
variation is not taken into account. From the figure, the
performance of the RSRP-based cell selection is degraded
compared to SINR-based cell selection, since the difference in
the interference is not correctly reflected, especially for the
cell-edge UEs (See Fig. 5). Furthermore, comparing the
performance of SINR and RSRQ-based cell selection, the
SINR of the picocell of the RSRQ-based cell selection is better
than that for the SINR-based cell selection, and vice versa for
macrocells. This is because the larger number of UEs with
higher SINR of the macrocell is offloaded to the picocells
using RSRQ-based cell selection compared to that using SINR-
based cell selection as discussed in Section II and in Fig. 6.
In order to evaluate the effect of cell selection on the system
performance, the cell throughput and cell-edge user throughput
are evaluated based on the following definition.
- Cell throughput: defined as the cell throughput for one
macrocell, i.e., summation of one macrocell and four
picocells, which are uniformly distributed within the
macrocell. Furthermore, in order to investigate the
contribution of the resources of the macrocell / protected
and non-protected resources from the picocells, the cell
throughput of respective resources are separately evaluated.
- Cell-edge user throughput: defined as the 5% user
throughput of all the UEs connected to the macro and
picocells, since the numbers of UEs in the macro/picocells
are different according to the parameters.
Figure 8 shows the cell throughput and cell-edge user
throughput using the SINR-based cell selection. In the figure,
the performance levels of the macro only case (Case 0) and
macro and pico overlay without ICIC (Case 1) are also plotted
as a reference. As shown in the figure, by overlaying the four
picocells with one macrocell, the cell and cell-edge user
throughput levels are improved approximately 150% and 20%.
Although the improvement in the cell throughput is large due
to the additional resources from the picocells, the improvement
in the cell-edge user throughput is limited. This is because a
limited number of UEs is offloaded to the picocells. By
introducing the CRE of o
SINR
= 0 dB associated with ICIC
(Case 2), the cell throughput in the protected resources in the
picocells is dramatically improved at a sacrifice of half the cell
throughput of the macrocells due to the reduction of the
resources in the macrocells. Furthermore, the cell-edge user
throughput is also degraded due to the reduction of the
resources in the macrocells. However, by offloading to the
picocells using higher o
SINR
values, the cell-edge user
throughput is improved to 43% for o
SINR
= 4 dB. On the other
hand, the cell throughput is slightly degraded due to the SINR
reduction by offloading. Figure 9 shows the cell throughput
and cell-edge user throughput using the RSRP-based cell
selection, which requires approximately a 10-dB higher offset
value compared to that of SINR-based cell selection.
Furthermore, Fig. 10 shows the cell throughput and cell-edge
user throughput using the RSRQ-based cell selection. The
performance of o
RSRQ
= 0 dB is completely th same as that for
SINR-based cell selection with o
SINR
= 0 dB. With a smaller
offset value, a similar offloading effect is obtained in the
RSRQ-based cell selection.
As shown in Figs. 8 to 10, a similar offloading effect is
obtained in these three schemes with different offset values.
0
20
40
60
80
100
Case2 (o
SINR
)
C
e
l
l

t
h
r
o
u
g
h
p
u
t

(
M
b
p
s
)
Case0 Case1 0dB 2dB 4dB 6dB 8dB
C
e
l
l
-
e
d
g
e

u
s
e
r

t
h
r
o
u
g
h
p
u
t

(
k
b
p
s
)
Pico (Protected)
Pico (Non-protected)
Macro
0
100
200
300
400
500
Cell-edge
user throughput
Cell
throughput
Figure 8. Cell and cell-edge user throughput
using SINR-based cell selection.
121
Finally, in order to compare these three schemes based on the
same offloading effect, i.e., the same number of UEs connected
to the picocells, Fig. 11 shows the cell throughput and cell-
edge user throughput as a function of the fraction of UEs
connected to the picocells with three different cell selection
methods. The performance levels of Cases 0 and 1 are also
plotted as a reference. Here, the performance of three cell
selection schemes are compared on the condition that the cell-
edge user throughput is maximized. As shown in the figure, the
cell and cell-edge user throughput levels using RSRP-based
cell selection are degraded approximately 3% and 10%
compared to those using SINR-based cell selection under the
condition of the maximizing the cell-edge user throughput due
to the impairment from the interference level, which was
discussed previously. Furthermore, it is shown that the cell-
edge user throughput of RSRQ-based cell selection is
improved by approximately 5%, although the cell throughput is
degraded approximately 5% compared to that for SINR-based
cell selection. This is because the larger number of UEs with a
higher SINR of the macrocell is offloaded to the picocells
using RSRQ-based cell selection compared to that using SINR-
based cell selection under the condition of the maximizing the
cell-edge user throughput.
V. CONCLUSION
In this paper, we investigated the cell selection methods
associated with ICIC in a heterogeneous network in the LTE-
Advanced downlink where picocells are overlaid onto
macrocells. In the evaluation, three cell selection criteria were
compared in the downlink system level simulation. Simulation
results (4 pico eNodeBs and 25 UEs are uniformly located
within 1 macro eNodeB) assuming full buffer model show that
the downlink cell and cell-edge user throughput levels of
RSRP-based cell selection are degraded approximately 3% and
10% compared to those for SINR-based cell selection under
the condition of the maximizing the cell-edge user throughput
due to the impairment from interference level. Furthermore, it
was shown that the downlink cell-edge user throughput of
RSRQ-based cell selection is improved approximately 5%,
although the cell throughput is degraded approximately 5%
compared to that for SINR-based cell selection under the
condition of the maximizing the cell-edge user throughput.
REFERENCES
[1] 3GPP, TS36.201 (V8.1.0), “LTE physical layer - general
description,” Nov. 2007.
[2] Final Acts WRC-07, Geneva, Nov. 2007.
[3] 3GPP, TR36.913 (V9.0.0), “Requirements for further
advancements for E-UTRA (LTE-Advanced),” Dec. 2009.
[4] 3GPP, TR 36.814 (V9.0.0), “Further advancements for E-UTRA
physical layer aspects,” Mar. 2010.
[5] A. Khandekar, N. Bhushan, J. Tingfang, and V. Vanghi, “LTE-
Advanced: Heterogeneous networks,” European Wireless 2010,
pp. 978-982, Apr. 2010.
[6] M. Sternad, T. Ottosson, A. Ahlen and A. Svensson, “Attaining
both coverage and high spectral efficiency with adaptive
OFDMA downlinks,” IEEE VTC 2003-Fall, Oct. 2003.
[7] 3GPP, TS36.214 (V8.7.0), “Physical layer – Measurements,”
Sept. 2009.
[8] 3GPP, TS 45.005 V5.4.0, “Radio transmission and reception,”
June 2002.
[9] 3GPP, TS36.211 (V8.9.0), “Physical Channels and
Modulation,” Dec. 2009.
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Figure 11. Cell and cell-edge user throughput as a function of
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122

1(b). the UE selects the cell index based on the following criteria. Protected. the downlink ICIC should be taken into account in the cell selection method. is introduced and the UE selects the cell index based on the following criteria. si. 2. RSRP-Based Cell Selection If ICIC is employed. which adds an offset value to the reference signal received power (RSRP). Protected resources No (or small) transmission power Non-protected resources Relatively small transmission power in pico Macro Severe No (little) interference interference Pico Light interference Different interference levels for different resources Figure 2. the average SINR of the protected resources for the i-th cell. the RSRP of the i-th cell to be used for cell selection. the average received SINR is the best criterion. iSINR. a higher offset value is required for the RSRP-based cell selection. three cell selection methods are evaluated. In order to improve the offloading gain. In the rest of the paper. since the interference from the picocells is not a problem.i Protected. this paper investigates other cell selection methods associated with downlink ICIC. II. although the macrocells send data to the UEs connected to the macrocells using other resources (hereafter referred as non-protected resources). Therefore. B. The RSRP value is defined as the averaged value over the instantaneous variation. where the macrocell only needs to reduce the transmission power (or stop transmission) in specific time/frequency resources to protect the UEs connected to the picocells (hereafter referred to as protected resources). the average SINR is defined as the SINR averaged over the instantaneous fading. 118 . Then. considering the downlink ICIC. the optimum offset value differs for different geographical locations between macro/picocells and UEs since the interference levels from the macrocells and picocells also differ. respectively. the offloaded UEs will suffer severe interference from the macrocell. is important to improve the capacity. and the offset value. simple extension by adding offset values for the picocells can be used to compensate for the difference in channel quality between macro and picocells [5].i SINR ( Macro cell ) ( Pico cell ) where i. and RSRP represent the selected cell index based on the RSRP-based criteria. the simulation configuration is given in Section III. In the paper. 2. the gain from offloading to the picocells through the CRE is much improved. Different from the ICIC in a homogeneous network. Section II describes the cell association techniques associated with downlink ICIC discussed in the paper. However. the other cell interference in the picocells becomes very small. Therefore. since it only reflects the received power from each cell and does not reflect the channel quality of the respective resources. 2. Although it is not specified in the LTE. s'i. the average SINR of the non-protected resources for the i-th cell. followed by our concluding statements in Section V. we present the simulation results in Section IV. In such cases. the average SINR in the protected resources (non-protected resources) for pico(macro)cells is used for cell selection as shown in Fig. Signal-to-Interference-Plus-Noise Power Ratio (SINR)Based Cell Selection In order to obtain accurate channel quality for cell selection. By defining the protected resources for the picocells. Therefore. selected cell index based on the SINR-based criteria. ( Pico cell ) (2) where iRSRP. The CRE. SINR. the offloading gain will be limited as shown in Fig.i and 'i. an additional offset value. Finally. the picocells generally send data to the UEs connected to the picocells using the protected resources. iSINR i i arg max i i and . Therefore. Although the offset value in the SINR-based cell selection is mainly used to obtain the offload effect. Therefore. the interference levels are different for the different resources and macro/picocells as shown in Fig. the downlink ICIC. In order to obtain the offload effect from macro to picocells. Furthermore. applying inter-cell interference coordination (ICIC) [6] with the CRE is proposed [5]. A.i. the offset value in the RSRP-based cell selection is also used to compensate for the difference in interference level (the interference level in the picocells becomes lower compared to that in the macrocells thanks to the reduction in the transmission power of the macrocell for the protected resources) as shown in Fig. represent the cell index (including sector). RSRP-based cell selection is not optimum. In SINR-based cell selection. the macrocell only needs to reduce the transmission power (or stop transmission) in specific time/frequency resources to protect the UEs connected to the picocells. Therefore.value. the RSRP of the i-th cell. Here. (1) Nonprotected . this scheme is investigated as a reference scheme. Nonprotected. iRSRP arg max si and i si si si si RSRP ( Macro cell ) . However. Measurement resources for cell selection. is used to select the non-optimum cells in the downlink [5]. respectively. CELL SELECTION METHODS ASSOCIATED WITH DOWNLINK INTERFERENCE COORDINATION As discussed in Section I. and the SINR value of the i-th cell to be used for cell selection.

the RSRQ is increased. background noise power. The 6-ray typical urban (TU) ch ann el mo d el wi th the r oot me an s quar e (r . lognormal shadowing with the standard deviation of 8 dB (10 dB) for the macro (pico) eNodeB. The RSRQ is proportional to the value defined as follows under full load conditions. We assume that 4 picocells are randomly located within each sector with a uniform distribution.. Furthermore. 4(c). It is assumed that the distance-dependent path loss and shadowing are constant. it is regarded as a 2 dB SINR offset for the UE with the SINR from the macrocell of 0 dB and 5 dB SINR for the UE with the SINR from the macrocell of 9 dB. 4 and Table I show the simulation model and major simulation parameters. The cell radius of the macrocells is set to 289 m. Reference Signal Received Quality (RSRQ)-Based Cell Selection In LTE. iRSRQ i i arg max i i and (4) Nonprotected . by using the RSRQ-based cell selection.5 dB) in RSRQ coincides with a 2 (5) dB increase in SINR. we take into account distance-dependent path loss with the decay factor of 3. according to the increase in the SINR. two types of cell selection methods are specified. which was discussed previously. 3.e. By introducing the offset value in RSRQ-based cell selection. As shown in (3). ) Frequency 1 subframe (=1 msec) Macro radio resources RSRQ RSRP RSSI S S I N SINR . This indicates that when a 1 dB offset is introduced in RSRQ-based cell selection. As shown in the figure. the performance without picocells is also evaluated as shown in Fig.C. while the time-varying instantaneous fading variations are added in the performance measurement. i. Simulation model. is also evaluated as shown in Fig. picocells are completely overlaid with macrocells. the UE selects the cell index based on the following criteria. RSRQ-based cell selection functions in the same manner as the SINR-based cell selection without offset. III.76 (3. N. the RSRQ in the protected resources for the i-th cell. respectively. received signal strength indicator (RSSI) [7]. 0 1 dB Time (a) Case 0: Macro only Frequency Macro radio resources Pico radio resources RSRQ in full load (dB) -2 -4 -6 -8 2 dB 5 dB 1 dB Time (b) Case 1: Macro and pico overlay without ICIC Macro radio resources Frequency Protected resources Pico radio resources 5 10 15 20 SINR (dB) Figure 3. the performance with picocells and without ICIC.i.5 dB to -0. a 1 dB increase from -4 to -3 dB (-1. Difference in SINR and RSRQ-based cell selection. interference power. i Protected . Therefore. s. represent the selected cell index based on the RSRQ-based criteria. different offset values will be required compared to SINRbased cell selection due to the different gradients in the RSRQ function as shown in Fig. In the evaluation. As a reference. a system level simulation is performed. 4(a). and SINR represent the received power of the desired cell. The shadowing correlation between the cells (sectors) is set to 0. The RSRQ is defined by the RSRP divided by the total received power. SIMULATION CONDITIONS In order to evaluate the effect of the cell selection methods associated with downlink ICIC.0). RSRQ. Therefore. The first one is the RSRP-based cell selection. and SINR..5 (1. i. Fig.m. -10 -10 -5 0 Time Non-protected resources (c) Case 2: Macro and pico overlay with ICIC Figure 4. I.i RSRQ ( Macro cell ) . We employed a 19-hexagonal macrocell model with 3 sectors per cell. 1 SINR (3) where S. compared to that using the SINR-based cell selection. 119 .e. and instantaneous multipath fading. The other is the RSRQ-based cell selection. respectively. and the RSRQ value of the i-th cell to be used for cell selection. ( Pico cell ) where iRSRQ. 4(b). Protected. the RSRQ in the non-protected resources for the i-th cell. Nonprotected. The RSRQ value is defined as the averaged value over the instantaneous variation. In the propagation model. simple time-domain resource partitioning is employed. respectively.67). half of the resources are used for protected and nonprotected resources as shown in Fig. By using the offset value. more UEs with a higher SINR from the macrocells are offloaded to the picocells.i and 'i. As a result. The locations of the 25 UEs in the macrocells are assigned randomly with a uniform distribution.

60 (70) % of the UEs are connected to the picocells with SINR = 4.7log10(R) dB 8 dB 10 dB 0. In order to compare the offloaded UE distributions in picocells for different cell selections. the number of UEs in the picocells is derived for the respective cell selection methods. The antenna gain at the macro eNodeB.10dB RSRQ based -20 . i. the CDF of RSRP–10 dB is also plotted for comparison. For example. including the antenna gain. This indicates that the UEs connected to the picocells are non-uniformly distributed. 6 shows the CDF of the pathloss from the macro eNodeBs of the UEs connected to the picocells. Compared to the CDFs of SINR and RSRP. i. This is because the difference in the interference in the two resources. Even though the total number of UEs connected to the picocells is larger than that of the macrocells in this case. 120 . SINR 0 RSRP SINR.0 (7. picocells. RSRP of 14 dB.. SIMULATION RESULTS In order to evaluate the difference in cell selection. Furthermore. the pathloss is defined as the loss comprising distance-dependent path loss and shadowing variation. due to the gradient difference for the SINR and RSRQ function as discussed in Section II.7 + 36. and RSRQ of 1 dB (See Fig.e. is dependent on the pathloss from the macrocell. pico eNodeB. and UE are 14 dBi. which are defined as macro pico max i i i ( Macro cell ) ( Pico cell ) max i . looking at SINR of 4. more UEs with a higher SINR from the macrocells. i. Similarly. 4 picocells per sector 3 sectors per site 289 m 128. although that for all UEs is approximately 30%. an approximate 10 dB difference is observed.0) dB. cell site of the macrocell. which means that 45% of the UEs are connected to the picocells without an offset value. the cell-edge of the macro coverage. comparing the CDFs of SINR and RSRQ. Two-antenna transmission and two-antenna diversity reception are assumed. 40 Figure 5. since the interference power difference should be compensated for RSRP-based cell selection as discussed in Section II. respectively. Fig.e. are offloaded to the picocells. the CDF of SINR and RSRP–10 dB becomes different when the SINR is below 10 dB. Here. i. CDF of RSRP. and delay spread of 1. is set to 5.55 Hz. the number of UEs connected to the macrocells is still large for the UEs with smaller pathloss from the macrocells. Furthermore. Furthermore. and RSRQ . fD.. respectively. 3. For example. 5.0 (7. more UEs are located in a large pathloss region. In the evaluation.. approximately 45% of the UEs have a negative SINR. RSRP .5 (between cells). The maximum Doppler frequency. IV. In the figure.. Figure 7 shows the resultant average SINR distribution for the respective resources. Furthermore. protected and non-protected resources for picocells and nonprotected resources for macrocells.e. the gradient is different due to the different functions as shown in Fig.1 + 37.e. 5 dBi. the UEs with the pathloss from the macro eNodeB is less than 100 dB.6log10(R) dB 140. SINR macro pico SINR is . 60% of the UEs are connected to the picocells. i. In the evaluation. looking at the CDF of SINR of 0 dB. which corresponds to 3 km/h at the carrier frequency of 2 GHz. RSRQ 20 (dB) RSRQ. The transmission power of the eNodeBs for the macrocells and picocells is 46 dBm and 30 dBm. Figure 5 shows the cumulative distribution function (CDF) of SINR . (5) where macro and pico represent the maximum SINR values macro. .5 1 (between sectors) 20 dB 3 km/h 46 dBm 30 dBm 2 x 2 (Uncorrelated) 14 dBi 5 dBi Total 25 UEs per sector in macrocell 2 GHz 10 MHz Proportional fairness 6 msec Chase combining 8 msec 100 80 CDF (%) 60 40 20 0 -40 SINR based RSRP based RSRP based .Table I. which must be compensated in RSRP-based cell selection. From Fig. full buffer traffic model is used. and RSRQ are defined by replacing i with si and i in (6). AMC) Hybrid ARQ (Packet combining) Round trip delay (Hybrid ARQ) Macro Pico 19 cell sites. 0. This tendency is most dominant for the RSRP-based cell selection. This is achieved by using the SINR of 4 dB. However. the CDF for all UEs are also plotted as a reference (Same performance for three cell selection schemes). and 0 dBi.06 sec [8] is assumed. the CDF of UEs connected to the picocells using RSRP-based cell selection is approximately 10%.0) dB. defined as follows. Simulation Parameters Cellular layout Cell radius Distance-dependent path loss Shadowing standard deviation Shadowing correlation Penetration loss Moving speed Total BS Tx power Antenna configuration Antenna gain Number of UEs Carrier frequency System bandwidth Scheduling algorithm Control delay (scheduling. RSRP .. the interference from cellspecific reference signal (CRS) is not taken into account assuming the cancelation at the UE receiver or configuring the multicast/broadcast over single-frequency network (MBSFN) subframes [9]. (6) In the same manner. 5). assuming the same percentage.e.

the performance levels of the macro only case (Case 0) and macro and pico overlay without ICIC (Case 1) are also plotted as a reference. summation of one macrocell and four picocells. 5). Furthermore. CDF of average SINR. CDF of pathloss from macro eNodeBs of UEs connected to picocells. 100 80 CDF (%) 60 40 20 0 -20 Macro SINR based RSRP based RSRQ based Pico (Non-protected) Pico (Protected) 0 10 20 Average received SINR (dB) Figure 7. In order to evaluate the effect of cell selection on the system performance. On the other hand. 121 Cell-edge user throughput (kbps) . Furthermore. Figure 8 shows the cell throughput and cell-edge user throughput using the SINR-based cell selection. the cell throughput in the protected resources in the picocells is dramatically improved at a sacrifice of half the cell throughput of the macrocells due to the reduction of the resources in the macrocells. With a smaller offset value. a similar offloading effect is obtained in these three schemes with different offset values. Cell and cell-edge user throughput using SINR-based cell selection. By introducing the CRE of SINR = 0 dB associated with ICIC (Case 2). i. a similar offloading effect is obtained in the RSRQ-based cell selection. From the figure. -10 30 the distant-dependent pathloss and shadowing are taken into account. 6. 10 shows the cell throughput and cell-edge user throughput using the RSRQ-based cell selection. since the numbers of UEs in the macro/picocells are different according to the parameters. the cell-edge user throughput is also degraded due to the reduction of the resources in the macrocells. Furthermore. . This is because a limited number of UEs is offloaded to the picocells. which requires approximately a 10-dB higher offset value compared to that of SINR-based cell selection.Cell throughput: defined as the cell throughput for one macrocell. As shown in the figure. although variation in the instantaneous fading variation is not taken into account. since the difference in the interference is not correctly reflected. Furthermore. the cell throughput is slightly degraded due to the SINR reduction by offloading. especially for the cell-edge UEs (See Fig. and vice versa for macrocells. This is because the larger number of UEs with higher SINR of the macrocell is offloaded to the picocells using RSRQ-based cell selection compared to that using SINRbased cell selection as discussed in Section II and in Fig. comparing the performance of SINR and RSRQ-based cell selection. The performance of RSRQ = 0 dB is completely th same as that for SINR-based cell selection with SINR = 0 dB.100 80 CDF (%) 60 40 20 0 80 UEs connected to picocells UEs connected to picocells SINR based RSRP based RSRQ based All UEs 90 100 110 120 130 Pathloss from macro eNodeB (dB) Figure 6. the SINR of the picocell of the RSRQ-based cell selection is better than that for the SINR-based cell selection. As shown in Figs. the cell-edge user throughput is improved to 43% for SINR = 4 dB. Although the improvement in the cell throughput is large due to the additional resources from the picocells. the improvement in the cell-edge user throughput is limited. the cell throughput of respective resources are separately evaluated. In the figure. Figure 9 shows the cell throughput and cell-edge user throughput using the RSRP-based cell selection. However. the cell and cell-edge user throughput levels are improved approximately 150% and 20%. which are uniformly distributed within the macrocell. by offloading to the picocells using higher SINR values. in order to investigate the contribution of the resources of the macrocell / protected and non-protected resources from the picocells.e.. the cell throughput and cell-edge user throughput are evaluated based on the following definition. the performance of the RSRP-based cell selection is degraded compared to SINR-based cell selection. .Cell-edge user throughput: defined as the 5% user throughput of all the UEs connected to the macro and picocells. by overlaying the four picocells with one macrocell. Cell throughput Pico (Protected) Pico (Non-protected) Macro Cell-edge user throughput 500 400 300 200 100 0 100 Cell throughput (Mbps) 80 60 40 20 0 Case0 Case1 0dB 2dB 4dB Case2 ( 6dB SINR) 8dB Figure 8. Fig. 8 to 10.

Ottosson. This is because the larger number of UEs with a higher SINR of the macrocell is offloaded to the picocells using RSRQ-based cell selection compared to that using SINRbased cell selection under the condition of the maximizing the cell-edge user throughput.0.0.0). 3GPP.” Sept. in order to compare these three schemes based on the same offloading effect. J. Cell throughput Pico (Protected) Pico (Non-protected) Macro Cell-edge user throughput 500 400 300 200 100 0 100 Cell throughput (Mbps) 80 60 40 20 0 Case0 Case1 0dB 0.” June 2002.0).” Nov. Final Acts WRC-07. i. 80 70 Cell througput (Mbps) 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 Cell-edge user throughput Case 0 Case 1 SINR based RSRP based RSRQ based Cell throughput 1000 800 600 400 200 0 Cell edge throughput (kbps) REFERENCES [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] 3GPP. 3GPP.0). the same number of UEs connected to the picocells. 122 Cell-edge user throughput (kbps) Cell-edge user throughput (kbps) . “Attaining both coverage and high spectral efficiency with adaptive OFDMA downlinks.005 V5.” Dec. “LTEAdvanced: Heterogeneous networks. Nov. 2003.1. it is shown that the celledge user throughput of RSRQ-based cell selection is improved by approximately 5%.9. Oct. “Further advancements for E-UTRA physical layer aspects. A. Cell throughput Pico (Protected) Pico (Non-protected) Macro Cell-edge user throughput 500 400 300 200 100 0 100 Cell throughput (Mbps) 80 60 40 20 0 Case0 Case1 0dB 4dB 8dB Case2 ( 12dB 16dB RSRP) Figure 9. Svensson. although the cell throughput is degraded approximately 5% compared to that for SINR-based cell selection under the condition of the maximizing the cell-edge user throughput.” IEEE VTC 2003-Fall. V. Simulation results (4 pico eNodeBs and 25 UEs are uniformly located within 1 macro eNodeB) assuming full buffer model show that the downlink cell and cell-edge user throughput levels of RSRP-based cell selection are degraded approximately 3% and 10% compared to those for SINR-based cell selection under the condition of the maximizing the cell-edge user throughput due to the impairment from interference level. 11 shows the cell throughput and celledge user throughput as a function of the fraction of UEs connected to the picocells with three different cell selection methods. 2009. Tingfang.general description. 2010. pp. T. N. Ahlen and A. Bhushan.0). Here. Furthermore.0). TS36. TS 45. Sternad. 2009. “Radio transmission and reception. Cell and cell-edge user throughput using RSRQ-based cell selection. the performance of three cell selection schemes are compared on the condition that the celledge user throughput is maximized. In the evaluation. 3GPP.4. M. “LTE physical layer . TR 36.0.2dB Case2 ( RSRQ) Figure 10. 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Fraction of UEs connected to picocells (%) Figure 11.” Dec. it was shown that the downlink cell-edge user throughput of RSRQ-based cell selection is improved approximately 5%. Cell and cell-edge user throughput as a function of UEs in picocells.0dB 1.7. TS36.211 (V8.913 (V9.” Mar. “Physical Channels and Modulation.. CONCLUSION In this paper. The performance levels of Cases 0 and 1 are also plotted as a reference. 2010. Furthermore. Cell and cell-edge user throughput using RSRP-based cell selection.214 (V8.” European Wireless 2010. [8] [9] 3GPP. three cell selection criteria were compared in the downlink system level simulation. Fig. “Requirements for further advancements for E-UTRA (LTE-Advanced).814 (V9. As shown in the figure. 2007. which was discussed previously. “Physical layer – Measurements. and V. Apr.Finally. Geneva. 2009. TR36.4dB 1.e. although the cell throughput is degraded approximately 5% compared to that for SINR-based cell selection. we investigated the cell selection methods associated with ICIC in a heterogeneous network in the LTEAdvanced downlink where picocells are overlaid onto macrocells. 3GPP. 978-982. Vanghi. the cell and cell-edge user throughput levels using RSRP-based cell selection are degraded approximately 3% and 10% compared to those using SINR-based cell selection under the condition of the maximizing the cell-edge user throughput due to the impairment from the interference level. TS36. 2007. A.6dB 2. Khandekar.201 (V8.

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