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Deploying High Capacity Dense Small Cell Heterogeneous Networks

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - DECADE (Deploying High Capacity Dense Small Cell Heterogeneous Networks)

Reporting period: 2017-08-01 to 2019-07-31

The exponential growth of the amount of mobile data is driving the development of evolution of mobile wireless networking technologies. A major challenge to be addressed by the fifth generation (5G) networks is to deliver much higher capacity and resource efficiency with low cost. Successful engineering solutions tackling this challenge are vital as mobile communications are used in virtually all sectors of the society.

To meet the challenge requires innovations at various layers of the mobile communication systems. One promising technique consists of heterogeneous networks (HetNets) that integrate radio base stations of various types and sizes, e.g. macrocells and small cells. The small cells offer great cost efficiency in offloading date requests from the macocells and covering traffic hotspots. To realize the potential of HetNets, however, research and development are necessary to optimize and manage HetNet deployment.

The Horizon 2020 MSCA RISE project DECADE investigates of scientific and engineering aspects for HetNet planning and optimization, with the objective of developing new knowledge and know-how for deployment HetNets. More specifically, the project aims to

- model and characterize network capacity of HetNets,
- develop joint indoor-outdoor HetNet P&O tools,
- investigate capacity enhancement techniques for small cells and HetNet
- investigate small cell backhaul planning and optimization
- evaluate the proposed solutions in terms of system capacity and deployment and operational costs.

Via researcher secondments, the DECADE project also aims at implementing knowledge exchange and integration.

The Project has successfully addressed its objectives, with the following conclusions:
- The project has facilitated inter-sectorial efforts for developing new solutions for HetNet planning and optimization. This has been a very fruitful research direction both academically in terms of high-quality publications, and the network planning tool that has directly benefited from the project efforts.
- The RISE scheme has effectively contributed to the knowledge development of researchers, in particular the early-stage researchers (ESRs), based on the feedback and their career development. Moreover, the project has led to long-term collaborations of the partners.
Project DECADE has three technical work packages (WPs).

- WP 1: HetNet capacity study
- WP 2: HetNet backhaul planning and optimization
- WP 3: HetNet planning and optimization tool

The following progress has been made for WP 1. The WP has been concluded by month 24.

- A system model for the purpose of HetNet capacity study has been developed. The model mathematically characterizes the inter-cell interference and its relation to the amount of radio resource required to deliver the user data. The model makes it tractable to analyze the performance of large-scale HetNets.
- The WP has investigated and compared newly proposed approaches for capacity improvement via new radio spectrum. In particular, techniques for utilizing unlicensed spectrum for 4G networks and HetNets and the integration with WiFi wireless networks have been analyzed with a comparative study.
- The WP has completed mathematical formulation and performance optimization of range offset in HetNets, based on the HetNet system model. An optimization algorithm has been developed and evaluated for range offset selection that achieving minimum energy consumption. The mathematical formulation and solution algorithm can be extended to other performance objective such as time-frequency radio resource consumption.

The following progress has been made for WP 2. The WP has been concluded by month 36.

- The WP has surveyed state-of-the-art wireless (in licensed spectrum) and wireline backhaul solutions for HetNets for performance comparison. The WP has also studied state-of-the-art wireless backhaul solutions of various spectrum bands.
- The WP has developed new wireless backhauling strategies based on wireless fidelity (WiFi) mesh. The WP has analyzed the critical issues for WiFi mesh backhauling, and proposed an algorithm to jointly optimize routing and resource allocation.
- The WP has studied backhaul design for the two segments: small cell base station (BS) to Point of Presence (PoP), and PoP to the core network, and accomplished the development of a backhaul planning and optimization tool.

The following progress has been made for WP 3. The WP has been concluded by month 48.

- The WP has finished 3D building modelling, which can auto-recognize the building elements and material types. In addition, WP has developed tools for 3D view displaying virtual building floor-by-floor based on floor plan, and finished the Geographical Information System (GiS) importing information of outdoor environment as input to network optimization.
- The WP has developed system level simulator to provide accurate signal propagation prediction, based on integrating outdoor and indoor information. The simulation allows for studying performance of HetNets with combinations of different types of base stations and access points. Moreover, the simulator provides effective means of result visualization.
- The WP has developed network planning and optimization tool that is capable of performance a number of optimization tasks for HetNets, such as cell optimization and antenna optimization for optimizing coverage.
Mobile communication technologies are becoming more important than ever. Today, virtually all business, educational, and service sectors of the society are dependent on the mobile and wireless Internet connectivity. This evolution necessities new solutions to enable for network capacity growth. The concept of HetNet advances the conventional network concept, by introducing a new ceoncept of network topology that integrates cells of various types and sizes. This effectively enables cost-efficient dense networks with high capacity coverage.

The DECADE project has addressed cutting-edge challenges to analyze and quantify the potential of HetNets, as well as software modules and tools to assist HetNet deployment. The outcome hence contributes to the architecture of future generation networks, which, in turn, are vital for socio-economic growth of the world. Moreover, the project generates potential impact in several dimensions:

- The DECADE secondment program has coupled academic and industrial approaches together for the research tasks and for acquiring new knowledge, with the impact of renewal of the practices of the partners, the competitiveness of the industrial DECADE sites, and enhancement of the career perspectives of the researchers.
- The DECADE project has generated a significant amount of scientific production, as well as industrial competitiveness by product development. The project has also established long-term collaborations. The concepts and methods developed by the project are generating the impact of creating knowledge, know-how, as well as practical network planning solution. for rolling out the infrastructure of dense mobile networks as part of the 5G system evolution.
- The two companies of the DECADE consortium are both very active developing new solutions and tools for mobile network planning and management. The planning and optimization software to which the project has contributed, is currently generating the impact of exploitation and results, and novel market opportunities for the industrial partners.
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