Exploiting LTE-Advanced HetNets and FeICIC for UAV-assisted Public Safety Communications

Abhaykumar Kumbhar, Ismail Guvenc, Simran Singh, Adem Tuncer

Ensuring ubiquitous mission-critical public safety communications (PSC) to all the first responders in the public safety network (PSN) is crucial at an emergency site. Recently, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has received extensive interest for PSC to fill the coverage holes and establish reliable connectivity. The UAVs can be deployed as unmanned aerial base stations (UABSs) as part of a heterogeneous network (HetNet) PSC infrastructure. In this article, we address the inter-cell interference limiting factor in LTE-Advanced HetNets by applying 3GPP Release-11 further-enhanced inter-cell interference coordination (FeICIC) and cell range expansion (CRE) to enhance the system-wide spectral efficiency (SE). Through simulation with different path-loss models, we compare the system-wide 5th percentile SE when UABSs are deployed in a hexagonal grid and when their locations are optimized using a genetic algorithm, while also jointly optimizing the CRE and the FeICIC parameters. Our results show that at optimized UABS locations, the 3GPP Release-11 FeICIC with reduced power subframes can provide considerably better 5th percentile SE than the 3GPP Release-10 with almost blank subframes

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