IEEE Communications Magazine - June 2017 - page 192

IEEE Communications Magazine • June 2017
190
0163-6804/17/$25.00 © 2017 IEEE
A
bstract
The increasing popularity and usage of porta-
ble smart devices have heightened the demand
for higher data rates and mobility support in
wireless communication networks. Many porta-
ble device users rely heavily on public transport
during their trips to work, school, and other busi-
ness locations. To facilitate the provision of high
data rates for these commuters, the development
of innovative wireless technologies is critical.
Small cell networks can be a promising solution
to this challenge. However, incorporating small
cells in vehicular environments demands further
investigation, especially for issues related to their
communication architecture, interference and
resource management. In this article, we present
a small cell network system design that can pro-
vide seamless high data rate services to public
transport users. We address the frequency alloca-
tion problem for mobile small cells and introduce
time-varying frequency allocation solutions to
meet the dynamic network topology and varying
user traffic requirements.
I
ntroduction
The demand for higher data rates in wireless
communication networks is becoming more
intense due to recent advances in wireless
mobile technologies. A paradigm shift is evident
with many users relying more on smartphones
and tablets than personal computers. These
small, portable wireless devices have created an
expectation among users that they can access
high data rate services (e.g., high definition video
streaming, voice and video over IP, and online
games) anywhere at any time, thus creating
unprecedented challenges for service provid-
ers. Recent studies [1] suggest that commuters
in populated areas have a preference for pub-
lic transport when traveling. Furthermore, most
of these commuters are engaged in some form
of information and communications technology
(ICT)-based activities, including reading or writing
emails, browsing the Internet, streaming music or
video, or playing online games during their trip.
Around 31 percent of these commuters use their
travel time to increase their productivity through
studying or working. The widespread take-up
of modern mobile devices, with smart applica-
tions and a variety of services, have dramatically
increased user appetite for Internet access while
they travel; but from a network service provid-
er’s perspective, this has created tremendous
stress, particularly in the context of limited avail-
ability of transmission frequencies. Network ser-
vice providers readily acknowledge the rapidly
growing demand for high data rate services by
users of public transport. Facilitating high data
rate services to public transport users is consid-
ered to be a major research challenge [2], and
the fifth generation (5G) wireless system, which
is expected to be standardized and released by
2020, requires innovative solutions to address
this challenge.
The 5G Infrastructure Public Private Part-
nership (5GPPP) project considers small cell
networks (SCNs) as a potential solution for
providing high data services in both fixed and
mobile wireless communication environments.
Small cells, such as femtocells (up to 30 m
range), picocells (up to 200 m range), and
microcells (up to 2 km range), allow local traffic
offloading through high-capacity wired connec-
tions (i.e., small cell base stations are connected
to the core network by fiber/copper) [3, 4]. This
allows the same transmission frequency to be
reused in neighboring small cells, thus alleviating
the pressure on macrocells in terms of power
consumption, traffic congestion, and demand
for transmission frequency. As such, small cells
can play an important role in enabling network
service providers to deliver high data rates by
increasing frequency reuse, coverage area, and
spectral and energy efficiency.
While the first phase of small cell deployment,
mostly in the form of fixed femtocells in residen-
tial and commercial buildings, has been successful
[5], the next phase will involve the deployment
of mobile femtocells [6]. Similar to fixed femto-
cells, these mobile small cells have the potential
to enhance network coverage, as well as spectral
and energy efficiency, by complementing the role
of the traditional macrocellular concept with no
extra power and spectrum required. The deploy-
ment of mobile small cells on public transport
systems [2], such as buses and trains, is highly
appropriate as a bus can be modeled as a femto-
cell, while a train can incorporate multiple femto-
cells. However, the successful implementation of
mobile femtocells demands further research; and
in this article, we present a small cell network sys-
tem design for public transport. We also address
the frequency allocation problem in mobile fem-
tocells, and present time-varying graph coloring
solutions.
Mobile Small Cells: Broadband Access
Solution for Public Transport Users
Ade Syaheda Wani Marzuki, Iftekhar Ahmad, Daryoush Habibi, and Quoc Viet Phung
A
utomotive
N
etworking
and
A
pplications
The authors present a
small cell network system
design that can provide
seamless high data
rate services to public
transport users. They
address the frequency
allocation problem for
mobile small cells and
introduce time-varying
frequency allocation
solutions to meet the
dynamic network topolo-
gy and varying user traffic
requirements.
The authors are with Edith Cowan University.
Digital Object Identifier:
10.1109/MCOM.2017.1500484
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