Research Report RR-17-331, April 3rd, 2017
LTE is deployed in most countries and continuously evolving to match new user requirements. While it is expected to support 5G deployments for outdoor and long range communications, it will also be used for Public Safety services in major countries. Among those, new scenarios call for wider networks on the move relying on self-backhauling. In this report we argue that the LTE relay channel can be leveraged to enable multi-hop mesh networks of LTE base stations. We first study the LTE relay physical channel and highlight its main properties. We then compare and analyze three solutions for LTE meshing, and propose a new approach based on in-band backhauling using the legacy relay channel. We finally perform link-level emulations to assess the performance of the relay channel subject to different conditions.
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