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2015 Eight International Workshop on Selected Topics in Mobile and Wireless Computing

C-RAN Simulator: A Tool for Evaluating 5G

Cloud-Based Networks System-Level Performance

Norhan Mohsen and Khaled S. Hassan

Faculty of Information Engineering and Technology,
German University in Cairo (GUC), Cairo, Egypt
norhan.abdel-latif@student.guc.edu.eg and khaled.shawky@guc.edu.eg

AbstractCloud radio-access network (C-RAN) has the most extra hectic work to the eNodeBs BBUs. Therefore, we are
promising network architecture to support the new fifth genera- greatly in need of cloud based CoMP, where the global control
tion (5G) mobile network. The C-RAN witnesses a revolutionary of the cellular network will facilitate the coordination between
base station functionality split, where it is composed of simplified multiple RRHs and decrease the latency via eliminating the
remote radio heads (RRH) and several baseband units (BBUs) signaling overhead [9].
pools in network backbone. The C-RAN assists in employing
Additionally, heterogeneous networks (HetNet) is one of
several functionalities more efficiently. It has privileges over the
existing radio-access networks (RANs) in case of global resource the features of LTE and LTE-A, that aids in maintaining
management, interference management, and radio-access tech- coverage to UEs despite their position within the cell [7]. Em-
nology (RAT) selection to guarantee higher system throughput ploying CoMP in a multi-cell size environment is specifically
and lower energy consumption. In this paper, we demonstrate useful for the edge users in terms of the required quality-of-
a C-RAN system-level simulator that performs centralized user service (QoS) preservation and interference mitigation. In our
scheduling, edge-user joint transmission (JT), and global per- discussion, we refer to edge users as those who have a signatl-
antenna carrier aggregation (CA). In addition, we demonstrate to-interfence and noise ratio (SINR) value below a certain
the capability of our system-level simulator to investigate the predefined threshold.
bottleneck effect of the fronthaul-link capacity as the system Employing CoMP in a HetNet environment in the C-
expands or C-RAN coordinated facilities increase. Our analysis
RAN will introduce more degrees of freedom for the users,
shows throughput enhancement compared to the traditional
RAN; however, with high fronthaul links utilization rates. however this will add to the C-RAN main challenge which
is the interface between the RRHs and BBUs pools [9].
I. I NTRODUCTION High speed fiber fronthaul links are required to transfer from
Mobile communication market is on a great move towards the RRHs the UEs data to be processed at the BBUs pool
the 5G systems, motivated by the need for controlling and [2], [5]. The front haul links can be realized using various
operating ultra-dense networks (UDN). Hence, a huge number technologies, where optical fibers are the most promising
of users equipment (UE) with very high data rate need to stay technology [10]. However, optical fibers are greatly expensive
connected to the mobile network, making the existing RANs and their implementation becomes sometimes impossible due
insufficient for the explosively rising traffic growth. Thus, there to some geographical obstacles e.g rivers; hence, micro-wave
is a great need of having a global view and control of the whole wireless links with limited bandwidths can be used. Therefore,
cellular network. This can be achieved by the promising C- the most critical challenges in C-RAN are link level latency,
RAN architecture. The C-RAN is composed of several groups fronthaul links utilization and capacities, which we will study
of pooled BBUs and RRHs distributed all over the cellular in this paper [11], [12].
network [1], [2]. The C-RAN architecture enhances greatly In addition to the CoMP, fractional frequency reuse (FFR)
the energy consumption, where multiple BBUs equipped in is another LTE and LTE-A functionality, which is very promis-
the same compartment share the air conditioning and utilizes ing from the edge users point of view .In the FFR part of the
centralized processing capabilities [3]. Opposing to the current bandwidth is dedicated for allocation to only the edge users and
traditional RATs (2G,3G and 4G), the centralized BBUs will the remaining part is the full frequency reuse part dedicated
be running over general purpose powerful platforms, thus for the central users of all the cells. The edge users bandwidth
facilitating various RATs selection [4], [5]. is divided into three equal sub-bands, which are distributed
Various transmission methodologies and functionalities in- among the cells such that interference between each of the cells
troduced in the context of LTE and LTE-A can be deployed and its first tier interfering cells is eliminated. On the other
more wisely in the C-RAN, thus improving the overall system hand, employing FFR is spectrally inefficient because even
performance [6], [7]. For instance, coordination between differ- distribution of edge users among the cells is not guaranteed.
ent multiple eNodeBs can be employed in LTE-A to mitigate Relying on the C-RAN global view, cloud based frequency
the network inter cell interference (ICI) [8]. In the downlink, reuse (CFR) can be employed to overcome the FFR defect by
multiple eNodeBs coordinate and perform a JT to serve the improving the spectral efficiency.
same user, where as in the uplink interference is reduced Carrier aggregation is another LTE and LTE-A function-
via synchronized reception among multiple eNodeBs. On the ality, which is a contiguous concatenation of two or more
other hand, CoMP functionality requires sharing UEs location different bands [6], [13]. The declining Global System for
information, data and signaling overhead, thus introducing Mobiles (GSM) usage can be made use of, by aggregating

978-1-4673-7701-0/15/$31.00 2015 IEEE 310

2015 Eight International Workshop on Selected Topics in Mobile and Wireless Computing

the GSM bandwidth to the that of the LTE in the C-RAN. the RRHs are connected to a C-RAN interface of high-speed
In this paper, we present our implemented system-level optical switches. In our simulator, up till now, we assumed that
simulator for assess current C-RAN system design. We have most of the C-RAN limitations are coming from the C-RAN
developed a MATLAB simulator through which we can run interface and the CPRI links.
different scenarios to test all the various C-RAN functionalities
and evaluate the benefit of C-RAN compared to conventional
wireless systems. The main objective is to have a generic
system-level simulator that test the C-RAN under different
realistic scenarios. Our simulator is assisted with a very
realistic channel conditions. First of all, we adopt part of the
channel model from the TU Vienna LTE system-level simula-
tor, i.e., the large-scale fading [14]. Moreover, we simplify
the multipath small-scale fading-channel using a stochastic
channel generator.
Our simulator is capable of establishing both, homogeneous
and heterogeneous networks environments with different cell
sizes, the macro and the micro. We investigate the performance
of C-RAN network in case of: cloud based resource reuse,
antenna selection, and cloud-assisted JT. Additionally, we
investigate more about heterogeneous network cloud-assisted
per-antenna carrier aggregation. In this case, carrier aggrega-
tion are assumed to be a contiguous concatenation of two 20
MHz bands, where each band is served from a different RRH Figure 1: Cloud Radio Access Network architectural model
type, i.e., either macro-RRH or micro-RRH.
Finally, the fronthaul link-capacities are measured in dif-
ferent situations. In this case, we assumed a fully centralized A. Channel Model
C-RAN [1], [10], where the fronthaul links carries the in- This subsection discusses the channel model and the real-
phase and the quadrature-phase (IQ, real and imaginary) of istic environment established by the simulator. The channel is
the transmitted signals. In our simulations, we assumed var- divided into two main modules, the large-scale fading and the
ious quantizations levels for the transmitted IQ signals. The small-scale fading, which are discussed here in details.
fronthaul link-capacity are measured also for different number 1) Large-Scale Fading: The simulator has a class named
of coordinated cells/RRHs. as channelModel, which has a function that creates a two
The rest of this paper is organized as follows: Section dimensional pathloss map for the whole region of interest for
2 describes our System-Level Model. Section 3 discusses each RRH similar to [16]. These pathloss values on the map
the simulator in more details. In Section 4, we present our are the addition of the signal decay due to the distance traveled
simulation parameters and results for C-RAN performance and by the transmitted signal from the RRH and the antenna
limitations. Finally, Section 5 concludes the paper. pattern gain at this traveled distance. The function calculates
the RRH signal-power decay that is experienced at each pixel;
II. C-RAN S YSTEM M ODEL thereafter, it stores the values in the RRH heat map. Following
In this section, we describe in brief the network architecture the Macroscopic TS 36.942 [17] urban environment pathloss
of the C-RAN and the channel model of our simulator. Our model, the signal decay at each pixel is calculated using the
network model is composed of three core modules ,the Remote following equation.
Radio Head (RRH) entity, the user equipment (UE) entity
and the cloud controller. It is multi cell based system level 4ht
simulator that can create a controllable number of concentric PL = 40(1 ) log10 (D)18 log10 (ht )+21 log10 (fc )+80 ,
tiers of hexagonal shaped sectors and upon which a region (1)
of interest is defined . The RRHs almost have no intelli- where ht is the RRH antenna height in meters measured from
gence and do not perform any processing to the received the average roof top level, D is the euclidean distance between
or transmitted signals, instead, they send and receive an IQ transmitter and the receiver in Km, and fc is the RRH carrier
sampled version of the received/transmitted signals through the antenna frequency in MHz. The distance is measured between
fonthaul links (where it becomes common to us fiber-optical the users pixel position and the RRH position (changed to
transmission, e.g., the common public radio interface (CPRI) Km) [14].
[1]) to the cloud where all baseband units are located. The In our simulator, we used the efficient low complex method
RRHs resemble only a sub block of the physical layer, which proposed in [18], where each new fading value is generated
is the Radio Frequency (RF) component. This RF component based only on the correlation with selected neighboring values
is mainly composed of the RF circuit, RF signal mixers, in the map. However, we do not represent the results in this
and the power amplifier. The variables of these components paper with shadow fading.
(e.g. bandwidth ,transmit power and carrier frequency) are 2) Small-Scale Fading: We generate a small-scale fading
controlled via C-RAN [1]. Additionally, we assume that all channel assuming a frequency selective, slow-fading environ-
RRHs contain multiple antennas of the type Kathrein-Antenna ment. This small-scaling fading is simulated as follows:
(model number 742212) [14]. Generate a multipath channel with stochastic paths,
Figure 1 describes the C-RAN architectural model, where i.e., each delay tap is composed of a superposition

2015 Eight International Workshop on Selected Topics in Mobile and Wireless Computing

of non-resolvable scattered paths si composing the Network Layout Maps Cloud Interface
RRHs and UEs placement, Fronthaul-Links Capacity
complex amplitude csi ,ip C(0, 1). antenna again, Feedback (UL) traffic
Each composite path ip arrives at a distinct sampling antenna tilt, Power
delay ip .
PL Resource Scheduling
Macro-Scale and
The maximum delay spread, ds = ipp=1 ip , is set to Shadow Fading+
RR and Best-CQI

be below the cyclic prefix (CP) duration in the normal Antenna Gain

User Feedback
mode of the LTE/LTE-A system, which is 4.7 s. Link Measurement

Interference Model
In order to compose the total-fading channel model (large-scale Model SINR, Average SINR,
and small-scale), the small scale-fading channel parameters is CQI, adaptive MCS
multiplied by the reciprocal of the large scale fading parameter Fading
PL,k . Thus, the total fading parameter Ck,total for RB k is Link Performance
given by Model
Time Variation
" sip # Model
ds X
1 X
Ck,total = FT csi ,ip ( t) . (2)
PL,k t= s
1 1

B. Link-Level to C-RAN System-Level

Inhere, we describe the link-level to C-RAN system-level
transformation. Based on the UE position and the network Figure 2: Link-level to C-RAN system-level diagram
layout map, a large-scale fading parameter is determined.
Similar to the previous section, the small-scale fading (time-
dependent) and the large-scale fading (position dependent) are
combined. Additionally, an interference model is considered from low received power signals to make use of one of the
based on the neighboring stations and the reused resources. crucial functionalities of the C-RAN which is Coordinated
In our simulations, we assume that all users send Multi Point. Each sector of the macro cell has 2 different
their channel-state information (CSI) resembled in quantized micro RRHs ID, which is illustrated in the figure below.
channel-quality indicator (CQI) [13] for each RB. Based on Different combinations of these two types results in different
the received CQIs, user resources are scheduled. Thereafter, an network types. For instance, having Macro RRHs only forms a
adaptive modulation and coding scheme (MSC) is computed homogeneous network, while having both (macro and micro)
at the C-RAN for each user. As depicted in Fig. 2, key forms a heterogeneous network. The network type can be
performance indicators (KPIs) for the cloud functionalities controlled in the simulator through the cloud-config parameter
are computed, e.g., throughput, channel capacity, and outage fed as an input to the simulator.
probability. 3) Region of Interest: The simulator defines a rectangular
Considering only a downlink transmission model, both region of interest inside the predefined number of hexagonal
users CSI feedback (sent over uplink control channels) and sector tiers fits. The defined region of interest is then divided
the cloud data stream (sent over downlink shared channel) into pixels with a data resolution of 10 meters. The shadow
are transfered over the fronthaul links passing through the fading and the macro and micro scale values are assumed to
overall cloud interfaces. Hence, the fronthaul link capacities be constant within the entire pixel area.
are computed in both cases, information downlink channel and
4) User Generation: Within the region of interest boarders,
CQI feedback uplink.
it is assured that all the adjustable total number of generated
III. C-RAN S YSTEM -L EVEL S IMULATOR users (predefined in the cloud-config) lies. New users are
A. Cellular Architecture generated to replace the old ones after a time span of 10 TTIs
The simulator draws a predefined number of concentric (10 iterations) to trigger different positions, to have sufficient
tiers of hexagonal shaped sectors, which resembles the cellular statistics. The users have a uniform random distribution inside
network. Each three sectors forms a macro cell with 120 the region of interest, such that each hexagonal sector have a
degrees sectoring. The simulator is then capable of distributing different number of end user equipments. The generated users
different combinations of different RRHs types all over the are classified into two groups, the central users group and the
cellular network. The RRHs are classified into two types, the edge users group, depending on a SINR threshold which is also
macro and the micro RRHs. one of the cloud-config adjustable properties (in our results,
1) Macro RRH: Each of the three macro RRHs are placed we set it to 5 dB). The user positions are interpreted to pixels
exactly at the center of three-hexagonal macro cell sectors to upon which user SINR value can be easily determined. If the
serve the entire cell area. Thus, it has the highest transmit user SINR value is above the SINR threshold then he joins
power compared to the Micro RRHs. All three sectors of the the sector central users group and if below, then he joins the
same macro cell have the same Macro RRH ID . The Macro sector edge users group.
RRHs are suitable for covering an entire city area divided into 5) Resource Scheduling and User Feedback: The simulator
macro cells as described above. allocates resources to the users using one of the two scheduling
2) Micro RRH: The micro RRHs are placed exactly at the techniques, Round Robin or Best CQI. Depending on the
intersection point of three sectors of three different macro cells scheduling technique used, it is decided whether feedback from
as if they form a new macro cell. However, the micro RRHs the users to the cloud is required or not. The Round Robin
have a transmit power that serves only edge users of the these technique allocates resources to the users blindly , however the
sectors. The micro RRH will allow edge users who suffer Best CQI technique relies on the CQI value at each resource

2015 Eight International Workshop on Selected Topics in Mobile and Wireless Computing

block in the total bandwidth experienced by each user. We B. C-RAN Functionalities:

made a contribution to the Best CQI technique , where the 1) Cloud Frequency Reuse: Applying Cloud Frequency
users point of view was taken into consideration. To be more Reuse (CFR) in the C-RAN system could be very promising
clear, before allocating the resource block to the user with in terms of spectral efficiency, compared to the Fractional
the highest CQI value, the cloud checks first if this resource Frequency Reuse (FFR) applied in the current LTE and LTE-A
block is one of the resource blocks in the users set of resource systems. Both types of frequency reuse schemes, the CFR and
blocks with highest CQI values. After the resources allocation, the FFR, aims at boosting the quality of service experienced by
the edge users, without affecting the other users performance
Algorithm 1 Best CQI scheduler with users best quality dramatically. However, in our proposed mechanism (CFR),
resources are controlled globally among neighboring cells. In
Required: Find total users demand in the sector this case, users are classified into two groups based on their
1: repeat
SINR value, the central users groups and the edge users group.
2: repeat The central users group contains all the users with a SINR
3: find the user with the highest CQI value for the RB above a threshold of 5 dB, whereas the edge users group
4: if the demand of the user in turn is not fulfilled then contains the users with a SINR value below the threshold
5: check the number of RBs left to fulfill the users despite their locations. Similar to the FFR [14], the whole
demand bandwidth is divided into two parts according to a predefined
6: find the set of users best resource blocks ratio FR . The central users of all three sectors of the macro
7: end if cell are only restricted to the first part of the bandwidth.
8: if RB is one of the highest RBs in the user set then This means that frequency reuse 1 is employed in the normal
9: allocate the RB to user users zone of the macro cell. As for the second part of the
10: else bandwidth, in the traditional FFR the edge users of each of
11: skip the user and the resource block in turn the three sectors are restricted to one of the three partial
12: end if frequency reuse bands, which is spectrally inefficient, due to
13: until reach the maximum number of RBs per sector the uneven distribution of the edge users of the macro cell in its
14: until All sectors are allocated
three sectors. However, our cloud frequency reuse mechanism
overcomes this problem by dedicating the whole second part of
the step to follow is the calculating accurately a suitable MCS the split bandwidth to the total number of edge users of three
for each user, depending on the users channel conditions. To opposing sectors of three different macro cells, i.e., schedule
do that ,the cloud requires from each user a feedback indicating them as if they are all located in one sector; see Fig. 3.
the CQI of each resource block allocated to the user. Similar
to the LTE, the cloud suppress any resource block with zero
CQI. They resource blocks are removed to eliminate their
interference effect on other users. Then the cloud maps the
CQI values, of each remaining resource block allocated to the
each user, to an average SINR value. One of the restrictions
of the LTE technology is the computation of a single MCS
value for the whole set or resource blocks allocated to the
user, rather than calculating a different MCS value for each
resource block allocated to the user. For computing this single
MCS value the cloud has to compute first an equivalent SINR
value for the whole set of resource blocks allocated to the Coordinated
user, which is done as follows. The SINR values cannot be Zone Cloud-Based
averaged directly and have to be averaged in the MI domain. requency
Reused regions
Thus, in order to compress the SINR values the users resource
blocks into a single effective SINR value, the cloud employs
Mutual Effective SINR Mapping (MIESM) [19]. The MIESM Figure 3: Cloud frequency used in C-RAN and CoMP zones
method maps the average SINR value of each resource block
to its corresponding mutual information (MI) value, averages
the MI values for all resource blocks, and then remaps the Offering the whole second part of the frequency bandwidth
average MI value to an effective SINR value. These steps are increases the edge users opportunity to be scheduled to
done using the following equation. resource blocks with good channel conditions and enhances
! their spectral efficiency.
1 1 X 2) Coordinated Multi Points with Joint Transmission in
eff = Ik Ik (n ) , (3)
N n=1 HetNet: Applying the coordinated multi points (CoMP) func-
tionality besides the cloud frequency reuse can further enhance
where N is number of resource blocks allocated to user (after the edge users performance, see Fig. 3. Referring to CoMP,
removing those with CQI value of 0), Ik is the Bit Interleaved we mean the cooperation between several RRHs to serve the
Coded Modulation (BICM) capacity for modulation encoding same user. Receiving the signal from only one RRH increases
k bits per symbol. The cloud controller then maps the effective the risk of receiving a very faded signal due to either shadow-
SINR value of each user to an effective CQI value ,which is fading or small-scale fading. This can be compensated by
then finally translated to an effective MCS value. combing the signal with two other signals carrying the same

2015 Eight International Workshop on Selected Topics in Mobile and Wireless Computing

data. As mentioned before, the edge users of each three differ- payload and 8-bit frame overhead and an 8B/10B line encoding
ent sectors, of three distinct macro cells, are scheduled jointly process. All the RRH in each 3-sector cell are gathered in a
over the cloud virtual coordination. However, after scheduling, single interface, which connects them to the cloud BBUs pool
each edge user receives his data signals only from the Macro via a backhaul high-speed connections.
RRH of the macro cell of the sector he is geographically
located in. By applying CoMP, each edge user in each of the
three sectors will receive three different versions of his data
signals from each of the three macro RRHs of the three macro
cells in coordination. In this case, the signal is transmitted
with a scaled transmitting power, i.e., power is scaled by the
number of the transmit RRHs. Also as in Fig. 3, case of HetNet
environment, each user will choose the best RRHs from the PHY
macro and micro of the sector he is geographically located in.
In our throughput analysis, we limited our case to 3 RRHs as
we lack optimized power control.
3) Carrier Aggregation: Carrier aggregation is the exten- Figure 4: C-RAN fronthaul links model
sion of the available bandwidth, thus a greater number of
resource blocks are available for allocation to the users. As we
In contrast to the actual downlink channel rate, the CPRI
mentioned before the available bandwidth was 20 MHZ, which
interface faces a massive bit rate, which is related to the
is doubled after employing carrier aggregation functionality of
sampling frequency and the number of bits devoted to the I
two bands in the C-RAN model. The carrier aggregation is
and Q samples. The final CPRI bit rate is given by
tested in a heterogeneous network environment (with macro
and micro RRHs). In this case, for each sector, the macro RRH 1 1
transmit over the original part frequency band, while the two RCPRI = 2 BL/IQ fs Nant NRRHs , (4)
Crate framing
micro RRHs transmit over the extended part of the bandwidth.
Since we select that the macro RRH transmitting antenna where fs is the sampling frequency of all bands (when CA is
power is 40 watts in homogeneous network, this power level is assumed, their sampling frequencies are added), Crate is the
still maintained in the heterogeneous network as follows: the channel coding rate = 0.8, framing = 120/128, Nant is the
macro RRH transmitting power is 20 watts, while each of the number of antennas of each RRH, and NRRHs is the number
micro transmitting antennas has a power of 10 watts giving a of coordinated RRHs in all the cell sectors.
total transmitting power of 40 watts per sector.
For testing the carrier aggregation functionality, the best IV. S IMULATION PARAMETERS AND R ESULTS
CQI scheduling is employed. In our simulator we generated In this section, we show the results obtained from our
for each user two different channels for the two micro RRHs, simulator to test the C-RAN functionalities. All scenarios run
besides one for the macro RRH. If the user is scheduled to for 200 iterations, where an iteration resembles one TTI. The
any of the resource blocks of the extended bandwidth, it will common parameters between the different scenarios is shown
be served by the micro RRH with better channel conditions. in the following table.
The bottom-line is that carrier aggregation per antenna (as a C-
RAN functionality) enjoys more dimension of freedom where Table I: Simulation parameters
users can select a more appropriate resource using best-CQI.
Parameter Value
This enhances the throughput and reduces outage. hexagonal sector radius 500/3 m
number of users 750
C. Cloud Radio Interface antenna type 742212 Katherein Antenna
For simplicity, let us assume a C-RAN radio interface that Power/antenna Homogeneous 40 watt
carrier frequency 2140 MHz
uses only CPRI fiber-optical links. These cables connect the antenna mechanical tilt 0 degrees
BBUs pool located at the cloud to the in-field RRHs. The antenna electrical tilt 8 degrees
traffic over CPRI cables is assumed to be a complex baseband multi path channel sampling rate 30.72 MHZ
multi path channel delay spread 3000 ns
representation of bandpass modulated signals in time-domain, pathloss maps resolution 10 meters
i.e., after the inverse Fourier transform in case of LTE RAT. average transmitter height 20 meters
After sampling the complex baseband signal, we get in-phase average receiver height 1.5 meters
thermal noise density -174 dBm/Hz
(I) and quadrature-phase (Q) values; each of the I and Q receiver noise figure 9 dB/Hz
values are quantized with a multi-level quantization process bandwidth 20 MHz
of BL bits, i.e., 2BL levels. In case of LTE, the complex- # RB per-user 5 (100 RB/20 users per-sector)
baseband sampling frequency is related to the transmission
bandwidth, e.g., sampling frequency for bandwidths 1.4, 3, 5, We simulated 37 sectors in total in the region of interest.
10, 15, and 20 MHz are 1.92, 3.84, 7.68, 15.36, 23.04, and The average number of users per-sector in our case is > 20,
30.72, respectively. In our simulator, if more users are added i.e., 750/37. This makes the users (with full buffers assump-
to the sectors or users are demanding more resources, extra tion) having equal number of assigned RB over the 20 MHz;
bandwidth is added in a carrier-aggregation fashion allowing in this case, we get 5 RBs for each user.
up to 100 MHz (in 5-MHz steps). We investigated the performance of different functionalities
Figure 4 depicts a CPRI fronthaul links network model, in terms of either the effective throughput or the probability
where we assume a CPRI-like frame with 120 bits of useful of outage. The effective throughput for each user is calculated

2015 Eight International Workshop on Selected Topics in Mobile and Wireless Computing

using the single effective MCS calculated by the cloud for each of a full transmit and receive diversity (using 2x2 antenna
user for all its scheduled resource blocks using the following setup) using the two scheduling techniques (Round Robin
steps. The simulator calculates the total number of coded bits and Best CQI), where maximum-ration combining (MRC) is
for all the resource blocks for 1 TTI using the equation below. employed at the receiver.
RCoded Bits = ((NSC NS ) NP ) EMB NRB , (5)
Effective Throughput ecdf for SISO and TxRxDiv
where NSC is number of subcarriers per resource block , which
is equal to 12. NS is number of symbols of one subcarrier (at
the same frequency) for 2 time slots, where the 2 time slots 0.8

are equal to a single TTI. NP is the number of pilot symbols 0.7

in RB number I, which is sent for channel estimation.Finally
NRB number of resource blocks allocated to user and EMB

is the effective modulation bits of all resource blocks. 2)The 0.5

simulator calculates the total number of data for all resource 0.4
blocks for 1 TTI using the equation below

RData Bits = (RCoded Bits ) ECR Toverhead bits , (6) 0.2

SISO in Best-CQI
where ECR is the effective coding rate of all resource blocks. 0.1 2x2 TxRxDiv RR
2x2 TxRxDiv Best-CQI
The total overhead bits, Toverhead bits , in LTE/LTE-A is equal 0
0 20 40 60 80 100
to 24 8 [13]. The simulator then divides the total data bits of Effective throughput in Mbits/s
all the resource blocks by 1ms (millisecond) to calculate the
users effective . Finally, for each sector we add the sector users Figure 6: Round Robin and Best CQI Siso and 2x2 Diversity
effective throughput to calculate the sector effective throughput
in in mega bits per second. The probability of outage is also
calculated per sector, where it is equal to the sector users in In Fig. 6, as expected, the LTE system performance has
outage over the sector total number of users. improved in terms of the effective throughput when Best CQI
scheduling technique is employed compared to the Round
Robin scheduling technique. Employing the transmit and re-
ceive diversity has further enhanced the system performance
using any of the two scheduling techniques compared to the
SISO case.

Best CQI Effective Throughput SISO with/without CFR








All users without CFR
All users with CFR
Edge users without CFR
Figure 5: Region of interert HetNet SINR map without shadow- 0.1
Edge users with CFR
Central user with CFR
fading Central user without CFR
0 20 40 60 80 100
Effective throughput in Mbits/s

A. Heterogeneous Network SINR Map Figure 7: Best CQI Effective Throughput with and without CFR
In order to have a realistic cellular system, we generated an
SINR map for the whole region of interest, where Katherein
antenna #742212 is deployed similar to the TU Viena
simulator [16]. The novel characteristic of our simulator is that C. Cloud-Based Frequency Reuse Results
it can generate different cell sizes using RRHs with different As shown in Fig. 7, the edge users effective throughput
transmitting powers levels, the macro and the micro. The total has enhanced greatly when CFR was employed compared to
transmitted power value is maintained constant as that in the the normal case. Thus, edge users enjoys less interference
homogeneous network case. The SINR map of the region of and a dedication of half the bandwidth. In addition, the
intererst in a heterogeneous environment is shown in Fig. 5 users effective throughput is not affected dramatically; it is
minimized due to the harm caused to the central users after
B. LTE Conventional Results limiting their bandwidth. From Fig. 8, one can notice that the
We generated effective throughput results of the conven- probability of outage of the edge user enhanced compared to
tional LTE syatem as a reference to assisst in evaluating the conventional system. However, the outage of the central user
cloud based functionality results. Inhere, we present the results increased as they are utilizing now part of the total resources.

2015 Eight International Workshop on Selected Topics in Mobile and Wireless Computing

Best CQI Probability Of Outage SISO with/without CFR Best CQI with Carrier aggregation and HetNet
1 1
without CA
0.9 CA/HetNet (5 RBs)
0.95 CA/HetNet (10 RBs)


All users with CFR (50%)
0.65 All users without CFR (50%) 0.2
Edge users with CFR (50%)
0.6 0.1
Edge users without CFR (50%)
0.55 Central users with CFR (50%) 0
Central users without CFR (50%) 0 50 100 150
0.5 Effective Throughput in Mbits/sec
0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1
Outage Probability
Figure 10: Best CQI Effective Carrier Aggregation
Figure 8: Best CQI Probability Of Outage with and without CFR

his received signal. If a user is scheduled to a resource block

The total users probability of outage has also deteriorated due from the extended part of the bandwidth, he is attached to the
to that the harm caused to the central users exceeded the edge micro RRH offering a higher quality of service. The bandwidth
users improved performance. It is worth to mention here that extension elevates the users probability of being scheduled
the selected splitting criterion (50 percent for each zone) need to their own set of preferred resource blocks . All the above
to be optimized to have a better outage performance [14]. reasons aided in greatly boosting the system performance. It is
clearly noticed , that utilizing the bandwidth more efficiently
Best CQI w/o CFR, w/ CFR & w/ CFR+COMP
(10 resource blocks for each user instead of 5) boosted the
system performance even more greatly.
F. C-RAN Interface and Fronthaul-Link Rate
In this section, we will demonstrate the results of the
0.7 fronthaul link capacity assuming that each cell (3-sectors) are
0.6 feeding back their IQ samples to a central optical-fiber switch.
Thus, the switch combines the IQ raw-data transmission in

a single (wider-bandwidth) link, where its data rates are
demonstrated in this section. Figure 11 shows the link capacity
0.3 all users with CFR (measured as the data rate of the IQ samples over the fronthaul
Edge users with CFR
all users with CFR COMP links) for antenna diversity and different quantization bit-width
Edge users with CFR COMP
all users without CFR
Edge users without CFR
BL , i.e., 8, 12, and 15. Inhere, we assume a capability of
all users with CFR COMP HET
Edge users with CFR COMP HET
aggregating 5 consecutive bands as discussed before. The
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 sampling frequencies are assumed to be those of the LTE-A
Effective Throughput per sector in Mbits/sec system. The link rates are computed assuming CPRI interface
with 120-bit payload and 8-bit overhead. The line coding over
Figure 9: Best CQI Effective Throughput CFR and CoMP the CPRI is assumed to be an 8B/10B encoding process [2].
It is obvious that rate increases dramatically with CA and
doubled with antenna diversity. Additionally, reducing the IQ
D. CoMP Results samples quantization levels maybe useful is studied carefully.
As for the CoMP along with CFR employment in homo-
geneous network environment (in Fig. 9), it has a performance Finally, Fig. 12 shows the fronthaul rate in case of multiple
that lies in between the normal and the CFR case. Beamform- antennas serving the edge users. Here we assume 20 users per-
ing and Power Allocation are not considered in our simulation sector with 5 RB each. We notice that increasing the number
and are expected to result in an edge users system performance of antennas and users in the sectors increases the link capacity
that exceeds that of the CFR case. However, repeating the dramatically. It is totally obvious that carrier aggregation and
same scenario in a heterogeneous network environment has multiple antenna systems have a data rate bottleneck in the
outperformed all the other cases, where the edge users are C-RAN fronthaul links, which is the main drawback of the
enjoying greater degree of freedom. Now the edge have closer C-RAN system. To resolve this, very high-speed fiber-optical
(and more) antennas to select the best three from them. technologies, e.g., wave-division multiplexing (WDM), need
to be utilized.
E. Per-Antenna Carrier Aggregation Results
As shown in Fig. 10, the performance has enhanced greatly. V. C ONCLUSION
after employing carrier aggregation in a heterogeneous network In this paper, we present a system level simulator of a
environment , where double the old bandwidth is available 5G C-RAN. Our simulator creates a realistic channel model
to be allocated to users. Users now have a variety of macro environment adopted from the TU-Vein simulator to produce
and micro RRHs to be attached to based on the quality of more realistic results. The simulator is capable of testing

2015 Eight International Workshop on Selected Topics in Mobile and Wireless Computing

Fronthaul-link capacity Sciences and Systems (CISS), 2014 48th Annual Conference on, March
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