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Authors: Nikos Makris, Panagiotis Karamichailidis, Christos Zarafetas, Thanasis Korakis

Conference:  IEEE 2019 European Conference on Networks and Communications (EuCNC), Valencia, Spain, 18-21 June 2019

Abstract: Cloud-RAN paves the way for flexible network management and control in the upcoming 5G and beyond networks. The base station disaggregation in different functional elements facilitates the incorporation of heterogeneous technologies in the user access network (e.g. 5G-NR, LTE, WiFi). Network densification and integration of heterogeneous technologies enables larger network capacity through the aggregation of multiple links, thus assisting the transition from the existing network infrastructure to innovative 5G networks. Nevertheless, as Ultra-Dense Heterogeneous Networks may operate in the same wireless spectrum, their performance potential may be hindered through the operation in overlapping frequencies. Thus, efficient coordination is required between the involved heterogeneous technologies. In this work, we consider a disaggregated base station setup, based on the current standards for 5G-NR, with capabilities to incorporate heterogeneous technologies for serving the UEs. We develop signalling between the heterogeneous Distributed Units and the Central Unit, and apply a spectrum coordination algorithm for optimal use of the wireless spectrum. We use OpenAirInterface as our development platform, and evaluate our results in a real testbed setup.

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