February 14, 2017

Long Term Evolution-Wireless Local Area Network Aggregation Flow Control

  • Ding M.
  • Laselva D.
  • Lechowicz P.
  • Lopez-Perez D.
  • Lunden P.
  • Malkamaki E.
  • Purovesi P.
  • Virtej E.
  • Wallmeier E.

LTE-WLAN Aggregation (LWA) has recently emerged as a promising third generation partnership project (3GPP) Release 13 technology to efficiently aggregate long term evolution (LTE) and wireless local area network (WLAN) at the packet data convergence protocol (PDCP) layer, allowing uplink traffic to be carried on LTE and downlink on both LTE and WLAN. This removes all the contention asymmetry problems of WLAN and allows an optimum usage of both licensed and unlicensed band for downlink. In this paper, we present a new feature of LTE WLAN aggregation (LWA), its flow control scheme, which controls how to aggregate downlink traffic in licensed and unlicensed bands. This aggregation technique exploits user equipment (UE)-based flow control feedback in the form of LWA status reports, and can be expanded to work with any number of frequency bands and radio technologies. Same concepts apply to 5G networks, although the performance evaluation provided here is in the context of LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) Pro. Simulation results in a typical enterprise scenario show that LWA can enhance user performance up to 8.0x over LTE-only, and 3.7x over WLAN only networks, respectively. The impact of the file size and LWA status report frequency on network performance are also investigated.

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