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In future wireless networks, a significant number of users accessing wireless broadband will be vehicular (i.e., in public transportation vehicles like buses, trams, or trains). The Third Generation Partnership Project has started to investigate how to serve these vehicular users cost-effectively, and several solutions have been proposed. One promising solution is to deploy a moving relay node (MRN), on a public transportation vehicle that forms its own cell inside the vehicle to serve vehicular users. By proper antenna placement, an MRN can reduce or even eliminate the vehicular penetration loss that affects communication. Moreover, MRNs can exploit various smart antenna techniques and advanced signal processing schemes, as they are less limited by size and power than regular user equipment. However, there are also challenges in using MRNs, such as designing efficient interference management techniques as well as proper mobility management schemes to exploit the benefit of group handovers for vehicular UE devices served by the same MRN. Nevertheless, initial system-level evaluation results indicate that a dedicated MRN deployment shows great potential to improve the vehicular user experience, and thereby can potentially bring significant benefits to future wireless communication systems.
Date of Publication: June 2013