Energy Efficient Relay-Assisted Cellular Network Model using Base Station Switching

Alam, Atm S.; Dooley, Laurence S. and Poulton, Adrian S. (2012). Energy Efficient Relay-Assisted Cellular Network Model using Base Station Switching. In: IEEE Global Telecommunications (GLOBECOM 2012): 2nd International Workshop on Multicell Cooperation, 3-7 Dec 2012, Anaheim (California), USA.




Cellular network planning strategies have tended to focus on peak traffic scenarios rather than energy efficiency. By exploiting the dynamic nature of traffic load profiles, the prospect for greener communications in cellular access networks is evolving. For example, powering down base stations (BS) and applying cell zooming can significantly reduce energy consumption, with the overriding design priority still being to uphold a minimum quality of service (QoS). Switching off cells completely can lead to both coverage holes and performance degradation in terms of increased outage probability, greater transmit power dissipation in the up and downlinks, and complex interference management, even at low traffic loads. In this paper, a cellular network model is presented where certain BS rather than being turned off, are switched to low-powered relay stations (RS) during zero-to-medium traffic periods. Neighbouring BS still retain all the baseband signal processing and transmit signals to corresponding RS via backhaul connections, under the assumption that the RS covers the whole cell. Experimental results demonstrate the efficacy of this new BS-RS Switching technique from both an energy saving and QoS perspective, in the up and downlinks.

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