Energy-Efficient User Association In Extremely Dense Small Cell Networks
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Dense heterogeneous networks constitute the paradigm for the future networks. In fact, recent studies demonstrate that the data traffic demand increases exponentially and the traditional cellular networks are not able to provide enough capacity. For this reason operators and standardisation bodies are particularly eager to solve the problem, hence there is a lot of ongoing research on this direction. In this paper we focus on extremely dense networks, that could be found, e.g., in crowded public places or in offices. In such deployments, energy consumption must be kept proportional to the traffic dispatched, otherwise operational costs will render them unsustainable from an economic perspective. In this paper, we propose a network model for the estimation of the power consumption of an LTE dense network of small cells, which takes into account the backhaul network. Furthermore, we introduce a new mechanism for the association of the users to base stations, aiming at minimizing the energy consumption of the LTE access network. The achieved trade-off among capacity and power consumption is then evaluated by means of a classical association policy that connects each user to the base station which received signal is the strongest.