Scalable base station switching framework for green cellular networks

Alam, Atm Shafiul (2015). Scalable base station switching framework for green cellular networks. PhD thesis The Open University.



With the recent unprecedented growth in the wireless market, network operators are obliged not only to find new techniques including dense deployment of base stations (BSs) in order to support high data rate services and high user density, but also to reduce the operating costs and energy consumption of various network elements. To solve these challenges, powering down certain BSs during low-traffic periods, so-called BS sleeping, has emerged as an effective green communications paradigm. While BS sleeping offers the potential to significantly lower energy consumption, it also raises many challenges, since when a BS is switched off, this can lead to, for example, coverage holes, sudden degradation in quality of service (QoS), higher transmit power dissipation in off-cell mobile stations (MSs), an inability to rapidly power up/down equipment and finally, a failure to uphold regulatory requirements. In order to realise greener network designs which both maximise energy savings whilst guaranteeing QoS, innovative BS switching mechanisms need to be developed.

This thesis presents a novel BS switching framework which improves energy efficiency (EE) in comparison with existing approaches, while guaranteeing the minimum QoS and seamless services. The major technical contributions in this framework are: i) a new BS to relay station (RS) switching model where certain BSs are switched to RS mode rather than being turned off, firstly using a fixed threshold based switching algorithm utilizing temporal traffic diversity, and ii) then subsequently by means of an adaptive threshold by exploiting the inherently asymmetric traffic profile between cells, i.e., by exploiting both the temporal and spatial traffic diversity; iii) a traffic-and-interference-aware BS switching strategy that considers the impact of inter-cell interference in the decision making process to dynamically determine the best BS set to be kept active for improved EE; and finally iv) a novel scalable multimode BS switching model which enables each BS to operate in different power modes i.e., macro/micro/sleep to explore energy savings potential even at higher traffic conditions.

The thesis findings conclusively confirm this new BS switching framework provides significant EE improvements from both BS and MS perspectives, under diverse network conditions and represents a notable step towards greener communications.

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