June 19, 2017

Multi-user Communication in Cloud Radio Access Network: Architecture, Coordination and Optimization

  • Boviz D.

In future mobile networks denser deployment of radio access points is planned to satisfy demand of higher throughput, but an increased number of mobile users can suffer from inter-cell interference. Fortunately, the centralization of base-band processing offered by Cloud Radio Access Network (C-RAN) architecture enables coordination and joint physical layer processing between cells. To make practical deployment of these techniques possible, we have to study C-RAN in an end-to-end view regarding several aspects: the functional architecture of a deployment, the multi-cell coordination strategy, the implementation of multi-user signal processing and possibilities for optimization to increase operational efficiency. In this thesis, first, we propose an architecture defining the placement of base-band processing functions between the distributed remote units and the central processing unit. The aim of this design is to enable multi-cell processing both on the uplink and the downlink while requiring low data rate between the involved entities. Secondly, we study how low latency coordination can be realized inside the central unit using software defined networking adapted to radio access networks. Our demonstration through a real-time prototype deployment shows the feasibility of the proposed control framework. Finally, we investigate adaptive allocation of fronthaul rate that is used for transferring quantized base-band symbols for users participating in uplink multi-cell reception in order to exploit interference between them. We propose an optimization model that includes the cost of fronthaul tranmissions and aims to maximize the gain of network operators from multi-user transmissions in C-RAN. We solve the optimization problem for different fronthaul pricing models, in a scenario where real-time and accurate channel estimates are available and in another where only channel statistics are exploited. Using our method - fitting in the architecture that we have defined - cost efficiency of fronthaul usage can be significantly improved.

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