A new adaptive small-cell architecture

Wei Ni*, Iain B. Collings

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Small cells are an emerging approach to improving hotspots throughput in cellular networks. Unfortunately, they cannot be deployed in a large scale under current cellular architectures, because of a severe interference problem and inefficient use of spectrum. We propose a new small-cell architecture which reconfigures topologies and frequency bands, adapting to changing traffic demands and interference-mitigating requirements. The new architecture consists of distributed small-cell nodes (SCN) and co-located baseband units (BBU), and adaptively switches the connections between the SCNs and BBUs. The BBUs can even be shared among multiple SCNs that use different frequency bands. Our architecture requires fewer BBUs, and the spectrum and energy utilization is significantly more efficient compared with current architectures. Simulations show that the new architecture is able to increase the spectrum utilization by 23.5%, and improve the network satisfaction regarding traffic demands by 144.2% for small cells covering 0.5 km2. Our architecture can also reduce the investment and energy consumption of the BBUs by up to 40%.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6502478
Pages (from-to)829-839
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • adaptive architecture
  • frequency and topology adaptation
  • graph theory
  • small cell


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