Small Cell Wireless Backhaul in Mobile Heterogeneous Networks

University essay from KTH/Kommunikationssystem, CoS; KTH/Kommunikationssystem, CoS


Small cells are deployed in a crowded areas with a high demand for both coverage and capacity. It is hard to address both of these requirements simultaneous with a conventional mobile network architecture based on macro cells. In many case a wire is not available to connect the small cell to the core of the mobile network. Under these circumstances a wireless link could be a convenient solution for the backhaul.

In this master’s thesis IEEE 802.11n technology was evaluated to assess its suitability for backhaul from a small wireless cell. The performance of wireless equipment manufactured by several vendors has been measured. The results of these measurements were analyzed and compared to a set of requirements established for small cell backhaul. The analysis has affirmed that IEEE 802.11n is capable of providing sufficient performance to be used for small cell backhaul in various deployment scenarios. Note that in this thesis we include femtocells, picocells, wireless LAN access points, and other technologies in the category of "small cells".

Another research questions of this master’s thesis is security of small cell backhaul. In addition to protecting the backhaul link itself, the security research investigated the safety of the whole mobile network architecture remodeled with the introduction of small cells. A mechanism to integrate secure small cells into a mobile network was developed.

The results obtained during the project will be used as an input for product development activities in the company hosting the project. The resulting product could become the target of future wireless system performance measurements.

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