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Relaying is one of the most important novel elements in 3GPP LTE-Advanced study item. It promises to offer significant gain for system capacity or coverage depending on the deployment prioritization. In this paper, we investigate the feasibility of relay node deployments in terms of system throughput and cell coverage area extension as compared to pico node deployments and traditional homogeneous single-hop macro cells. Relay backhaul link overhead is taken into consideration as a limiting factor in a relay deployment; nevertheless, results show that its effect on coverage extension is in most cases negligible. While the effect of relay backhaul overhead is small in coverage limited scenarios, the limitations on throughput due to relaying are evident, in particular, for 500 m ISD scenarios. This study also demonstrates that both relay and pico node deployments outperform clearly traditional macro cell deployment in terms of coverage and network capacity.
Date of Conference: 20-23 Sept. 2009