Mobile Small Cells for Adaptive RAN Densification: Preliminary Throughput Results
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In this paper, we study the capacity (i.e., the maximum achievable throughput) of radio access networks that exploit mobile small cell base stations carried by vehicles for adaptive densification in urban areas. While traditional approaches for radio access network densification with fixed small cell base stations are proving ineffective and extremely costly, mobile small cell base stations carried by vehicles can provide adaptive densification while achieving higher efficiency and lower cost. As a matter of fact, the existence of correlations between the number of mobile network subscribers and the number of vehicles in a given area allows for the spontaneous creation of temporary dense small cell deployments where and when needed. Ultimately, this approach to Radio Access Network densification increases efficiency, hence reducing costs for the operator. In this context, we first present an approach for the computation of the maximum throughput that can be obtained in an area served by traditional fixed base stations and mobile small cell base stations. We then provide initial estimates for the throughput improvements with respect to traditional deployments that rely on fixed base stations only. Evaluations in the realistic case study of the main railway station area in Milan, Italy, reveal that the use of mobile base stations achieves throughout gains up to 120% over legacy fixed access infrastructures, while granting higher fairness among subscribers.