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Remote Radio Heads and Small Cells

Spectrum sharing scenario in cellular networks, featuring a mixture of macro cells and low-power nodes (LPNs)


OverviewDigital Networks image

The technology provides a systematic approach to spectrum sharing. This requires dealing not only with various aspects of the spectrum but also understanding the infrastructure requirements. Considering the general trends towards deployments of dense and ultra-dense networks of LPNs, of particular interest are two types of nodes - remote radio heads (RRHs) and small cells. They pose different requirements on the transport network - RRHs have strict requirements on throughput, latency, and jitter while small cells allow the use of different transport network technologies.

What Problem Does it Solve/Advantages

The spectrum sharing model considered here is based on the well-known Carrier Aggregation of LTE-Advanced, designed to support topologies with RRHs, and Dual Connectivity, introduced to support deployments with small cells. In addition, the model also incorporates spectral resources from two distinct shared spectrum classes that are heterogeneous in a number of aspects. They include spectrum access rights, together with the cost of accessing the spectrum, as well as the quality of spectrum in terms of its availability and protection from inter-system interference. The technology is focused on the downlink throughput for a typical user, where a cellular operator determines the required spectrum resources from a particular spectrum class. The objective is to meet a particular Quality of Service (QoS) requirement, defined as the minimum average throughput.

Possible Applications

  • Telecoms service providers looking to respond elastically to fluctuations in network demand
  • Future spectrum sharing approaches that are expected to avail of the emerging trend in cellular wireless communications with respect to the deployments of low power nodes

Technology and Patent Status

Priority Founding.

The opportunity

This technology is available for license/collaboration.

Researcher: Prof Linda Doyle, Dr Jasmina McMenamy, Dr, Irene Macaluso

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