August 27, 2016

Improving load balancing techniques by location awareness at indoor femtocell networks

  • Aguilar-Garcia A.
  • Barco R.
  • Fernandez-Duran A.
  • Fortes S.
  • Garrido A.

Femtocells are the auspicious solution for the coverage and capacity challenges that mobile operators are currently facing indoors. Whereas some operators are focused on offloading data traffic from macrocells to femtocells, others prefer to ensure indoor coverage and prioritize voice traffic in order to mitigate the negative impact of blocked or dropped calls. In this context, this paper proposes a novel self-optimizing mechanism to prevent congestion problems at indoor environments, focused on operators that prioritize voice traffic connections. A challenge specific to femtocells is that they normally can only serve a small number of simultaneous connections. Based on this restriction, the proposed mechanism resizes femtocell coverage areas by tuning their transmission powers for load balancing purposes. How information on user location can enhance the optimization process is also investigated in this paper. According to this, two methods to estimate the received signal level per user are evaluated. Finally, the performance is studied by means of both simulations and a real field trial.

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