Ultra Dense Networks Deployment for beyond 2020 Technologies
Sonia Giménez Colás
Daniel Calabuig Soler
A new communication paradigm is foreseen for beyond 2020 society, due to the emergence of new broadband services and the Internet of Things era. The set of requirements imposed by these new applications is large and diverse, aiming to provide a ubiquitous broadband connectivity. Research community has been working in the last decade towards the definition of the 5G mobile wireless networks that will provide the proper mechanisms to reach these challenging requirements. In this framework, three key research directions have been identified for the improvement of capacity in 5G: the increase of the spectral efficiency by means of, for example, the use of massive MIMO technology, the use of larger amounts of spectrum by utilizing the millimeter wave band, and the network densification by deploying more base stations per unit area. This dissertation addresses densification as the main enabler for the broadband and massive connectivity required in future 5G networks. To this aim, this Thesis focuses on the study of the UDN. In particular, a set of technology enablers that can lead UDN to achieve their maximum efficiency and performance are investigated, namely, the use of higher frequency bands for the benefit of larger bandwidths, the use of massive MIMO with distributed antenna systems, and the use of distributed radio resource management techniques for the inter-cell interference coordination. Firstly, this Thesis analyzes whether there exists a fundamental performance limit related with densification in cellular networks. To this end, the UDN performance is evaluated by means of an analytical model consisting of a 1-dimensional network deployment with equally spaced BS. The inter-BS distance is decreased until reaching the limit of densification when this distance approaches 0. The achievable rates in networks with different inter-BS distances are analyzed for several levels of transmission power availability, and for various types of cooperation among cells. Moreover, UDN performance is studied in conjunction with the use of a massive number of antennas and larger amounts of spectrum. In particular, the performance of hybrid beamforming and precoding MIMO schemes are assessed in both indoor and outdoor scenarios with multiple cells and users, working in the mmW frequency band. On the one hand, beamforming schemes using the full-connected hybrid architecture are analyzed in BS with limited number of RF chains, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of these schemes in a dense-urban scenario. On the other hand, the performance of different indoor deployment strategies using HP in the mmW band is evaluated, focusing on the use of DAS. More specifically, a DHP suitable for DAS is proposed, comparing its performance with that of HP in other indoor deployment strategies. Lastly, the presence of practical limitations and hardware impairments in the use of hybrid architectures is also investigated. Finally, the investigation of UDN is completed with the study of their main limitation, which is the increasing inter-cell interference in the network. In order to tackle this problem, an eICIC scheduling algorithm based on resource partitioning techniques is proposed. Its performance is evaluated and compared to other scheduling algorithms under several degrees of network densification. After the completion of this study, the potential of UDN to reach the capacity requirements of 5G networks is confirmed. Nevertheless, without the use of larger portions of spectrum, a proper interference management and the use of a massive number of antennas, densification could turn into a serious problem for mobile operators. Performance evaluation results show large system capacity gains with the use of massive MIMO techniques in UDN, and even greater when the antennas are distributed. Furthermore, the application of ICIC techniques reveals that, besides the increase in system capacity, it brings significant energy savings to UDNs.