Performance study for off-grid self-backhauled small cells in dense informal settlements

Parth Amin, Nadew S. Kibret, Edward Mutafungwa, Beneyam B. Haile, Jyri Hamalainen, Jukka K. Nurminen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Urban (and suburban) informal settlements in emerging markets will be the fastest growing population hotspots in the next few decades. This presents a significant challenge in delivery of services, including affordable mobile Internet access. Operator-led upgrades through network densification (rollout of additional operator-maintained sites) are difficult to sustain in those areas due to low revenues, lack of fixed lines, energy scarcity, insecurity, and so on. This calls for aLTErnative approaches in mobile network upgrades and operation. In this paper, we present capacity enhancement approach using user-deployed shared-access small cells in the dense informal settlements. To that end, we consider leveraging macro Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks to backhaul High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) small cells. As a case study, we present comparative network simulations based on an example informal settlement. The results of the study highlight the possibilities for cost-effective capacity upgrades for users in dense settlements for even a limited number of unplanned end-user small deployments and self-backhauling via existing macro sites. In the study, we also note possible system performance enhancements of the small cell backhaul link through improved antenna design, scaling of carrier bandwidth and introduction of traffic steering across HSPA and LTE layers. © 2014 IEEE.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications, PIMRC
PublisherIEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)978-1-4799-4912-0
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2014
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication


  • Small cells
  • dense settlements
  • emerging markets
  • self-backhauling


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