Potential of dynamic spectrum allocation in LTE macro networks
Abstract. In recent years Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) worldwide are extensively deploying LTE networks in different spectrum bands and utilising different bandwidth configurations. Initially, the deployment is coverage oriented with macro cells using the lower LTE spectrum bands. As the offered traffic (i.e. the requested traffic from the users) increases the LTE deployment evolves with macro cells expanded with additional capacity boosting LTE carriers in higher frequency bands complemented with micro or small cells in traffic hotspot areas. For MNOs it is crucial to use the LTE spectrum assets, as well as the installed network infrastructure, in the most cost efficient way. The dynamic spectrum allocation (DSA) aims at (de)activating the available LTE frequency carriers according to the temporal and spatial traffic variations in order to increase the overall LTE system performance in terms of total network capacity by reducing the interference. This paper evaluates the DSA potential of achieving the envisaged performance improvement and identifying in which system and traffic conditions the DSA should be deployed. A self-optimised network (SON) DSA algorithm is also proposed and evaluated. The evaluations have been carried out in a hexagonal and a realistic site-specific urban macro layout assuming a central traffic hotspot area surrounded with an area of lower traffic with a total size of approximately 8 × 8 km2. The results show that up to 47 % and up to 40 % possible DSA gains are achievable with regards to the carried system load (i.e. used resources) for homogenous traffic distribution with hexagonal layout and for realistic site-specific urban macro layout, respectively. The SON DSA algorithm evaluation in a realistic site-specific urban macro cell deployment scenario including realistic non-uniform spatial traffic distribution shows insignificant cell throughput (i.e. served traffic) performance gains. Nevertheless, in the SON DSA investigations, a gain of up to 25 % has been observed when analysing the resource utilisation in the non-hotspot cells.