Backhaul-aware energy efficient heterogeneous networks with dual connectivity


In this paper, we consider backhaul-aware mechanisms for energy efficient operation of next generation heterogeneous wireless networks, with dense small cell deployments. We assume control and data plane separation based on the LTE-Advanced dual connectivity architecture. The mechanisms are evaluated using LTE-Advanced heterogeneous network scenarios, with varying levels of network densities, user traffic and cell load conditions. For comparison, conventional traffic offloading schemes based on small cell proximity and load are also evaluated. The performance results indicate significant energy saving (ES) gains for the backhaul-aware mechanism, depending on the backhaul technology used. Evaluations were also done on the impacts of user mobility, and for indoor and outdoor deployments of small cells. Trade-offs between user throughput and energy efficiency are evaluated, and using the considered mechanism, ES gains of up to 20 % is observed, without significant loss in throughput.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13


  1. 1.

    Astely, D., Dahlman, E., et al. (2013). LTE release 12 and beyond. IEEE Communications Magazine, 51(7), 154–160.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Rost, P. (2014). Cloud technologies for flexible 5G radio access networks. IEEE Communications Magazine, 52(5), 68–76.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Nakamura, T., Nagata, S., Benjebbour, A., et al. (2013). Trends in small cell enhancements in LTE advanced. IEEE Communications Magazine, 51(2), 98–105.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    3GPP TR 36.842. (2014). study on small cell enhancements for E-UTRA and E-UTRAN; Higher layer aspects. ver., 12.0.0.

  5. 5.

    Ishii, H., et al. (2012). A novel architecture for LTE-B: C-plane/U-plane split and phantom cell concept. IEEE Globecom Workshops (GC Wkshps), 624–630.

  6. 6.

    Auer, G. et al. (2012). Energy efficiency analysis of the reference systems, areas of improvements and target breakdown. INFSO-ICT-247733 EARTH Deliverable D2.3, ver. 2.00.

  7. 7.

    Cili, G., Yanikomeroglu, H., Yu, F. R. (2012). Cell Switch Off Technique combined with coordinated multi-point (comp) transmission for energy efficiency in beyond-lte cellular networks. inIEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC), 5931–5935.

  8. 8.

    Bousia, A., Kartsakli, E., et al. (2013, June). Game theoretic approach for switching off base stations in multi-operator environments. In IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC), 4420–4424.

  9. 9.

    Aleksic, S. (2013). Energy-efficient communication networks for improved global energy productivity. Telecommunication Systems, 54(2), 183–199.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Katsigiannis, M., & Hämmäinen, H. (2014). Energy consumption of radio access networks in Finland. Telecommunication Systems, 55(2), 241–251.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Xue, J., Zhang, T., Li, S., & Wang, W. (2013). An adaptive dual-threshold power saving mechanism in WiMAX. Telecommunication Systems, 53(1), 131–137.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Frenger, P., Moberg, P., et al. (2011, May). Reducing energy consumption in LTE with cell DTX. In IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC Spring), 1–5.

  13. 13.

    Cui, Y., et al. (2012). Delay-aware BS discontinuous transmission control and user scheduling for energy harvesting downlink coordinated MIMO systems. IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, 60(7), 3786–3795.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Mukherjee, A. (2013, Dec.). Queue-aware dynamic on/ off switching of small cells in dense heterogeneous networks. In IEEE Globecom Wkshps (GC Wkshps), 182–187.

  15. 15.

    Ashraf, I., et al. (2011). Sleep mode techniques for small cell deployments. IEEE Communications Magazine, 49(8), 72–79.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Prasad, A., et al. (2013, Dec.). Energy efficient small cell activation mechanism for heterogeneous networks. In IEEE Globecom Workshops (GC Wkshps), 760–765.

  17. 17.

    Ternon, E., et al. (2014, April). Database-aided energy savings in next generation dual connectivity heterogeneous networks. In IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference (WCNC), 2853–2858.

  18. 18.

    Tombaz, S., et al. (2012, Dec.). Impact of densification on energy efficiency in wireless access networks. In IEEE Globecom Workshops (GC Wkshps), 57–62.

  19. 19.

    Tombaz, S., et al. (2014, June). Is backhaul becoming a bottleneck for green wireless access networks?. In IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC).

  20. 20.

    Mesodiakaki, A., Adelantado, F., Alonso, L., et al. (2014). Energy-efficient user association in cognitive heterogeneous networks. IEEE Communications Magazine, 52(7), 22–29.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Samdanis, K., Paul, M. (2012, June). Energy efficient mobile backhaul: From research to standardization. In IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC), 6911–6915.

  22. 22.

    BBF TR-293. (2014). Energy efficient mobile backhaul. (Energy efficiency standards [EEE, PoE, Link Aggregation, ITU-T PON] and Architectures).

  23. 23.

    3GPP TR 36.887. (2014). E-UTRA; Study on energy saving enhancement for E-UTRAN. v1.0.0.

  24. 24.

    Prasad, A., Tirkkonen, O., Lunden, P., Yilmaz, O. N. C., Dalsgaard, L., & Wijting, C. (2013). Energy-efficient inter-frequency small cell discovery techniques for LTE-advanced heterogeneous network deployments. IEEE Communications Magazine, 51(5), 72–81.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Xu, P., Fang, X., He, R., & Xiang, Z. (2013). An efficient handoff algorithm based on received signal strength and wireless transmission loss in hierarchical cell networks. Telecommunication Systems, 52(1), 317–325.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Mekikis, P.-V., Kartsakli, E., Antonopoulos, A., et al. (2014, June). Two-tier cellular random network planning for minimum deployment cost. In IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC).

  27. 27.

    Prasad, A., Maeder, A. (2014, Sept.). Energy saving enhancement for LTE-advanced heterogeneous networks with dual connectivity. In IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC Fall).

  28. 28.

    3GPP TS 36.300. (2013). E-UTRA and E-UTRAN; Overall Description; Stage 2. ver. 11.5.0.

  29. 29.

    3GPP TR 36.932. (2013). Scenarios and requirements for small cell enhancements for E-UTRA and E-UTRAN. v12.1.0.

  30. 30.

    International Telecommunication Union ITU-T. (2009). May). Series G:Transmission systems and media, digital systems and networks: GPON power conservation. Supplement 45, pp. 1–46.

  31. 31.

    Aleksic, S., Deruyck, M., Vereecken, W., Joseph, W., Pickavet, M., & Martens, L. (2013). Energy efficiency of femtocell deployment in combined wireless/optical access networks. Computer Networks, 57(5), 1217–1233.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. 32.

    Shi, L., Mukherjee, B., & Lee, S. S. (2012). Energy-efficient PON with sleep-mode ONU: Progress, challenges, and solutions. IEEE Network, 26(2), 36–41.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    Mahadevan, P., Sharma, P., et al. (2009). A power benchmarking framework for network devices. In NETWORKING 2009. Berlin: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  34. 34.

    Mogensen, P., Na, W., Kovács, et al. (2007, April). LTE capacity compared to the shannon bound. In IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC Spring), 1234–1238.

  35. 35.

    3GPP TR 23.705. (2013). System enhancements for user plane congestion management. v0.9.0.

  36. 36.

    Johansson, J., et al. (2012). Minimization of drive tests in 3GPP release 11. IEEE Communications Magazine, 50(11), 36–43.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. 37.

    Fouquet, M., Hoene, C., Schläger, M., & Carle, G. (2011). Data collection in future mobile networks. Telecommunication Systems, 48(3–4), 289–300.

  38. 38.

    Prasad, A., Lunden, P., Tirkkonen, O., Wijting, C. (2013, June). Energy-efficient flexible inter-frequency scanning mechanism for enhanced small cell discovery. In IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC Spring), 1–5.

  39. 39.

    3GPP TR 36.839. (2013). E-UTRA; mobility enhancements in heterogeneous networks. v11.1.0.

  40. 40.

    3GPP TR 36.814. (2010). Further advancements of E-UTRA: Physical layer aspects. v0.4.0.

Download references


Parts of the research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Program FP7 / 2007 - 2013 under Grant agreement No. 317941 - Project iJOIN. The European Union and its agencies are not liable or otherwise responsible for the contents of this document; its content reflects the view of its authors only.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Athul Prasad.

Additional information

A. Prasad was with NEC Laboratories Europe when this article was written.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Prasad, A., Maeder, A. Backhaul-aware energy efficient heterogeneous networks with dual connectivity. Telecommun Syst 59, 25–41 (2015).

Download citation


  • Energy efficiency
  • Heterogeneous networks
  • Green wireless networks
  • LTE-advanced
  • Dual connectivity
  • Inter-eNB carrier aggregation