SECON 2015, 12th IEEE International Conference on Sensing, Communication and Networking, June 22-25, 2015, Seattle, USA
In this paper, we propose a novel architecture for next generation cellular networks that enables collaborative forwarding at Layer 2 among adjacent eNBs with the aid of
enhanced user equipment (UE) devices, that act voluntarily as packet forwarders. Therefore, legacy UEs are leveraged as active network elements being capable of operating simultaneously over multiple base stations (eNBs). To this end, we introduce
an evolved-UE (eUE) in order to enable reliable multi-hop operation through relaying and to achieve low-latency communication through efficient L2/MAC forwarding. Through extensive experimentation with OpenAirInterface emulation platform, we evaluated the performance and also validated the feasibility of the proposed architecture. Our results show that, in certain use cases corresponding to public safety and moving/small cell scenarios, the proposed architecture achieves significant reduction in latency (up to 16.94%) and improvement on packet loss rate (up to 59.25%), as the number of the employed eUEs increases with increasing BLER up to 20%. Moreover, the proposed architecture enables eUEs to increase the aggregated data rate in downlink by exploiting data connection to multiple eNBs at the expense of extra power consumption, which calls for the appropriate incentives to enable such a cooperation.
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