Time-domain ICIC and optimized designs for 5G and beyond: a survey

Abstract

Time-domain enhanced inter-cell interference coordination (eICIC) is an effective technique to reduce the cross-tier inter-cell interference (ICI) in long term evolution (LTE)-based heterogeneous small cell networks (HetSCNs). This paper first clarifies two main communication scenarios in HetSCNs, i.e., macrocells deployed with femtocells (macro-femto) and with picocells (macro-pico). Then, the main challenges in HetSCNs, particularly the severe cross-tier ICI in macro-femto caused by femtocells with closed subscribe group (CSG) access or in macro-pico caused by picocells with range expansion are analyzed. Based on the prominent feature of dominant interference in HetSCNs, the main idea of time-domain interference coordination and two basic schemes in the eICIC standardization, i.e., almost blank subframe (ABS) and orthogonal frequency division multiplexing symbol shift are presented, with a systematic introduction to the interactions of these techniques with other network functions. Then, given macro-femto and macro-pico HetSCNs, an overview is provided on the advanced designs of ABS-based eICIC, including self-optimized designs with regard to key parameters such as ABS muting ratio, and joint optimized designs of ABS-based eICIC and other radio resource management techniques, such as user association and power control. Finally, the open issues and future research directions are discussed.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61431001), Beijing Natural Science Foundation (Grant No. L172049), and Beijing Young Talent Project (Grant No. 2015000021223ZK31).

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Correspondence to Yiqing Zhou.

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Liu, L., Zhou, Y., Vasilakos, A.V. et al. Time-domain ICIC and optimized designs for 5G and beyond: a survey. Sci. China Inf. Sci. 62, 21302 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11432-017-9477-4

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Keywords

  • eICIC
  • almost blank subframe
  • joint optimized design
  • heterogeneous small cell networks
  • 5G and beyond