Wireless Backhaul Node Placement for Small Cell Networks

Muhammad Nazmul Islam, Ashwin Sampath, Atul Maharshi, Ozge Koymen, Narayan B. Mandayam

Small cells have been proposed as a vehicle for wireless networks to keep up with surging demand. Small cells come with a significant challenge of providing backhaul to transport data to(from) a gateway node in the core network. Fiber based backhaul offers the high rates needed to meet this requirement, but is costly and time-consuming to deploy, when not readily available. Wireless backhaul is an attractive option for small cells as it provides a less expensive and easy-to-deploy alternative to fiber. However, there are multitude of bands and features (e.g. LOS/NLOS, spatial multiplexing etc.) associated with wireless backhaul that need to be used intelligently for small cells. Candidate bands include: sub-6 GHz band that is useful in non-line-of-sight (NLOS) scenarios, microwave band (6-42 GHz) that is useful in point-to-point line-of-sight (LOS) scenarios, and millimeter wave bands (e.g. 60, 70 and 80 GHz) that are recently being commercially used in LOS scenarios. In many deployment topologies, it is advantageous to use aggregator nodes, located at the roof tops of tall buildings near small cells. These nodes can provide high data rate to multiple small cells in NLOS paths, sustain the same data rate to gateway nodes using LOS paths and take advantage of all available bands. This work performs the joint cost optimal aggregator node placement, power allocation, channel scheduling and routing to optimize the wireless backhaul network. We formulate mixed integer nonlinear programs (MINLP) to capture the different interference and multiplexing patterns at sub-6 GHz and microwave band. We solve the MINLP through linear relaxation and branch-and-bound algorithm and apply our algorithm in an example wireless backhaul network of downtown Manhattan.

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