A Simple Decentralized Cell Association Method for Heterogeneous Networks

Tetsunosuke KOIZUMI

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E96-B    No.6    pp.1358-1366
Publication Date: 2013/06/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.E96.B.1358
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Heterogeneous Networks for Future Cellular Systems)
heterogeneous networks,  cell association,  picocell,  femtocell,  cell range expansion,  inter-cell interference coordination,  

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This paper proposes a simple decentralized cell association method for heterogeneous networks, where low transmission-power pico or femto base stations (BSs) overlay onto a high transmission-power macro BS. The focus of this investigation is on the downlink and the purpose of cell association is to achieve better user fairness, in other words, to increase the minimum average user throughput (worst user throughput). In the proposed method, an appropriate cell association for all users within a cell is achieved in an iterative manner based on the feedback information of each individual user assisted by a small amount of broadcast information from the respective BSs. The proposed method does not require cooperation between BSs. Furthermore, the proposed method is applicable to cases of inter-cell interference coordination (ICIC) between macro and pico/femto BSs through the use of protected radio resources exclusively used by the pico/femto BSs. Based on numerical results, we show that the proposed method adaptively achieves better cell association for all users according to the user location distributions compared to the conventional cell range expansion (CRE) method. The advantage of the proposed method over CRE is further enhanced in an ICIC scenario.