Integrated Access and Backhaul in 5G mmWave Networks: Potentials and Challenges

Michele Polese, Marco Giordani, Tommaso Zugno, Arnab Roy, Sanjay Goyal, Douglas Castor, Michele Zorzi

Integrated Access and Backhaul (IAB) is being investigated as a means to overcome deployment costs of ultra-dense 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) networks by realizing wireless backhaul links to relay the access traffic. For the development of these systems, however, it is fundamental to validate the performance of IAB in realistic scenarios through end-to-end system level simulations. In this paper, we shed light on the most recent standardization activities on IAB, and compare architectures with and without IAB in mmWave deployments. While it is well understood that IAB networks reduce deployment costs by obviating the need to provide wired backhaul to each cellular base-station, in this paper we demonstrate the cell-edge throughput advantage offered by IAB using end-to-end system level simulations. We further highlight some research challenges associated with this architecture that will require further investigations.

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