Infrastructure Sharing in mmWave Cellular Systems

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Fig. 1. The percentage of sites shared with one or more cellular operators. Sites considered include macro-cellular towers, rooftops, and DAS nodes. Numbers are given for four major US cellular operators in three major cellular market areas (CMAs). In CMA III, Operator A shares about 11% of the sites it occupies with competing operators. In CMA I, three out of four operators share over 66% of their sites.

 

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Fig. 2. A 20 km x 20 km window of an actual DAS-node-dominated network shared by two major US cellular operators in a major US market. Co-located BSs are represented by overlapping shapes.

Modeling Co-location in Multi-Operator mmWave Networks with Spectrum Sharing

Directional communication in mmWave systems permits uncoordinated spectrum license sharing between mmWave cellular operators [1]. While spectrum sharing is a future possibility, infrastructure sharing is already a reality, and there has been a progression in the cellular operator industry towards sharing network infrastructure such as the network core, backhaul, and cell towers as an economic way for expanding coverage. When multiple closed-access cellular networks share spectrum, inter-network interference adds to intra-network interference. When cellular networks also share infrastructure, inter-network interference becomes coupled to intra-network interference because many of the base-stations (BSs) of the different networks are stationed at the exact same location.

In [2], we propose a mathematical framework to model a multi-operator mmWave cellular network with co-located BSs. We characterize the SINR distribution for an arbitrary network and derive its coverage probability. To understand how varying the spatial correlation between different networks affects coverage probability, we derive special results for the two-operator scenario. For external validation, we devise a method to quantify and estimate spatial correlation from actual base-station deployments.

Relevant Papers:

[2] A. K. Gupta, J. G. Andrews, and R. W. Heath Jr., “On the feasibility of sharing spectrum licenses in mmWave cellular systems,” IEEE Trans. Commun., vol. 64, no. 9, pp. 3981–3995, Sept 2016.

[1] R. Jurdi, A. K. Gupta, J. G. Andrews, and R. W. Heath Jr., “Modeling Co-location in Multi-Operator mmWave Networks with Spectrum Sharing,” submitted to IEEE Trans. Cogn. Commun. Netw. (ArXiv preprint)

 

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