Performance Impact of Base Station Antenna Heights in Dense Cellular Networks
In this paper, we present a new and significant theoretical discovery. If the absolute height difference between base station (BS) antenna and user equipment (UE) antenna is larger than zero, then the network performance in terms of both the coverage probability and the area spectral efficiency (ASE) will continuously decrease toward zero as the BS density increases for ultra-dense (UD) small cell networks (SCNs). Such findings are completely different from the conclusions in existing works, both quantitatively and qualitatively. In particular, this performance behavior has a tremendous impact on the deployment of UD SCNs in the 5th-generation (5G) era. Network operators may invest large amounts of money in deploying more network infrastructure to only obtain an even less network capacity. Our study results reveal that it is a must to lower the SCN BS antenna height to the UE antenna height to fully achieve the capacity gains of UD SCNs in 5G. However, this requires a revolutionized approach of BS architecture and deployment, which is explored in this paper too.