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Multihop communication has been proposed in cellular networks to overcome some inherent limitations. Congestion relief is amongst the promised gains. In this paper, the concept of inter-cell relay, which uses multihop communication to divert calls from heavy loaded cells to less loaded adjacent cells, is introduced. We show that using inter-cell relay, the number of supported calls inside a congested cell can be significantly increased. We devise two approaches for congestion relief based on the conditions of the network, to maximize the number of supported calls inside a congested cell. The distribution-based approach determines the number of extra hops for inter-cell relay based on call distribution. On the other hand, the delay sensitive approach assumes that the number of extra hops for inter-cell relay is limited by calls quality of service requirements. By imposing a limit on the number of extra hops, the approach decides the number of inter-cell relayed calls and the number of calls connected to the congested BS. Our results illustrate the benefits gained from inter-cell relay in congestion relief. We demonstrate that inter-cell relay can decrease congestion of a cell by fully utilizing the available resources in surrounding cells.
Date of Conference: Nov. 30 2009-Dec. 4 2009