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Recently, there has been considerable interest in the potential of inter-base station cooperation techniques to manage excessive out-of-cell interference in evolving cellular networks. It has been observed that on the uplink, significant improvements in interference rejection can be attained by exchanging complex-valued received signal samples across a cluster of cells and employing joint multi-antenna receiver processing. However, such processing incurs substantial increases in backhaul overhead, exceeding the actual information delivered by at least an order of magnitude. In this paper, we propose and describe a signal processing approach based on a novel Network Interference Cancellation Engine (NICE), which opportunistically cancels out-of-cell interference by exchanging decoded dominant interferer data among cooperating cells and reconstructing interfering signals. Simulation results with NICE processing in cellular networks show that substantial improvements (5-7 dB) in signal-to-interference-plus-noise ratio may be achieved over current non-cooperative multi-antenna receiver processing techniques while allowing backhaul overhead to be reduced by factors on the order of 40 to 50 relative to joint processing techniques employing the exchange of complex-valued received signal samples.
Date of Publication: February 2011