User Equipment Centric Downlink Access in Unlicensed Spectrum for Heterogeneous Mobile Network

Riichi KUDO  B. A. Hirantha Sithira ABEYSEKERA  Yusuke ASAI  Takeo ICHIKAWA  Yasushi TAKATORI  Masato MIZOGUCHI  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E98-B   No.10   pp.1969-1977
Publication Date: 2015/10/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.E98.B.1969
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on 5G Radio Access Networks―Part II: Multi-RAT Heterogeneous Networks and Smart Radio Technologies)
heterogeneous network,  CSMA/CA,  unlicensed spectrum,  wireless LAN,  RXOP,  hidden terminal problem,  

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Combining heterogeneous wireless networks that cross licensed and unlicensed spectra is a promising way of supporting the surge in mobile traffic. The unlicensed band is mostly used by wireless LAN (WLAN) nodes which employ carrier sense multiple access/collision avoidance (CSMA/CA). Since the number of WLAN devices and their traffic are increasing, the wireless resource of the unlicensed band is expected be more depleted in 2020s. In such a wireless environment, the throughput could be extremely low and unstable due to the hidden terminal problem and exposed terminal problem despite of the large resources of the allocated frequency band and high peak PHY rate. In this paper, we propose user equipment (UE) centric access in the unlicensed band, with support by licensed band access in the mobile network. The proposed access enables robust downlink transmission from the access point (AP) to the UEs by mitigating the hidden terminal problem. The licensed spectrum access passes information on the user data waiting at the AP to the UEs and triggers UE reception opportunity (RXOP) acquisition. Furthermore, the adaptive use of UE centric downlink access is presented by using the channel utilization measured at the AP. Computer simulations confirm that licensed access assistance enhances the robustness of the unlicensed band access against the hidden terminal problem.