Skip to Main Content
Nowadays, energy saving has become a hot topic and information and communication technology has become a major power consumer. In long term evolution advanced (LTE-A) networks, heterogeneous deployments of low-power nodes and conventional macrocells provide some new features, such as coverage extension, throughput enhancement, and load balancing. However, a large-scale deployment of low-power nodes brings substantial energy consumption and interference problems. In this paper, we propose a novel switching strategy (NS), which adaptively switches on or off some low-power nodes based on the instantaneous load of the system. It is compatible with the microcells' load balancing feature and can be easily implemented on the basis of existing LTE-A specifications. Moreover, we develop an analytical model for analyzing the performance of system energy consumption, block rate, throughput, and energy efficiency. The performance of NS is evaluated by comparison with existing strategies. Theoretical analysis and simulation results show that NS not only has a low block rate, but also achieves a high energy efficiency.