Prof. Andrews Develops Breakthrough Heterogeneous Cellular Network Model

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Cellular networks are at the beginning of a major transition from coverage-centric master-planned deployments to deployments that roll out organically over time in order to provide capacity where it is needed through low-power and small form-factor base stations like picocells and femtocells. The resulting coverage areas will be highly irregular, perhaps something like the figure shown below, which is clearly much different than traditional cellular networks that are commonly approximated by a hexagonal grid 'Heterogeneous Cell network model' Coverage Areas in a Heterogeneous Cellular Network, with Macro (red), Pico (green), and Femto (black) base stations. Prof. Andrews and several students, postdocs, and collaborators, have developed a powerful new analytical framework for understanding these heterogeneous cellular networks of tomorrow. Surprisingly, they have found both simple and accurate expressions for key performance metrics like outage, coverage, and rate. In fact, the entire SINR distribution for such a network can be characterized precisely under a very general model that relies on spatial point processes. Working with industry partners and our affiliates, the initial evidence is that these expressions generally agree with actual field deployments and much more complex industry models. For more information, links are provided to download the recently released paper presented in February. This research has been supported by Motorola, NSF, and the WNCG Industrial Affiliates program. Authors and contributors include Harpreet Dhillon, Dr. Radha Krishna Ganti, Han Shin Jo, and Ping Xia of WNCG and Professor Francois Baccelli of the ENS in Paris.