Skip to Main Content
Cell selection is the process of determining the cell(s) that provide service to each mobile station. Optimizing these processes is an important step toward maximizing the utilization of current and future cellular networks. We study the potential benefit of global cell selection versus the current local mobile SNR-based decision protocol. In particular, we study the new possibility available in OFDMA-based systems, such as IEEE 802.16m and LTE-Advanced, of satisfying the minimal demand of a mobile station simultaneously by more than one base station. We formalize the problem as an optimization problem, and show that in the general case this problem is not only NP-hard but also cannot be approximated within any reasonable factor. In contrast, under the very practical assumption that the maximum required bandwidth of a single mobile station is at most an r-fraction of the capacity of a base station, we present two different algorithms for cell selection. The first algorithm produces a (1-r)-approximate solution, where a mobile station can be covered simultaneously by more than one base station. The second algorithm produces a 1-r/2-r-approximate solution, while every mobile station is covered by at most one base station. We complete our study by an extensive simulation study demonstrating the benefits of using our algorithms in high-loaded capacity-constrained future 4G networks, compared to currently used methods. Specifically, our algorithms obtain up to 20 percent better usage of the network's capacity, in comparison with the current cell selection algorithms.