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A New Adaptive Small-Cell Architecture

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2 Author(s)
Wei Ni ; Wireless and Networking Technologies Laboratory, ICT Centre, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Marsfield, NSW 2122, Australia ; Iain B. Collings

Small cells are an emerging approach to improving hotspots throughput in cellular networks. Unfortunately, they cannot be deployed in a large scale under current cellular architectures, because of a severe interference problem and inefficient use of spectrum. We propose a new small-cell architecture which reconfigures topologies and frequency bands, adapting to changing traffic demands and interference-mitigating requirements. The new architecture consists of distributed small-cell nodes (SCN) and co-located baseband units (BBU), and adaptively switches the connections between the SCNs and BBUs. The BBUs can even be shared among multiple SCNs that use different frequency bands. Our architecture requires fewer BBUs, and the spectrum and energy utilization is significantly more efficient compared with current architectures. Simulations show that the new architecture is able to increase the spectrum utilization by 23.5%, and improve the network satisfaction regarding traffic demands by 144.2% for small cells covering 0.5 km2. Our architecture can also reduce the investment and energy consumption of the BBUs by up to 40%.

Published in:

IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 5 )