As the spectral efficiency of wireless links approaches its theoretical limits, and with the data traffic requirements continuing to grow rapidly, cell density and cooperation among base stations must increase in order to further improve network capacity and efficiently manage radio resources. Multi-tier access network architecture consisting of macrocells and a variety of overlaid smaller cells provides an approach towards solving the problem, allowing low cost per bit and efficiently utilizing all spectral resources in the system. Some such systems will be deployed using radio access technology outside the realm of IEEE 802.16. In such cases, IEEE Std 802.16, as enhanced, can provide out-of-band wireless backhaul to the small cells, allowing those cells to be positioned for optimal performance without regard to the local availability of high-capacity wired backhaul. The resulting system design will offer improvements in spectral efficiency needed to support the rapidly expanding demand for mobile broadband access.
IEEE 802.16 Working Group on Broadband Wireless Access Standards is developing the P802.16r Project on a Small Cell Backhaul (SCB). The resulting amendment to IEEE Std 802.16 will specify enhancements to the WirelessMAN-OFDMA air interface for effective use in wireless fixed and nomadic Ethernet transport, including small cell backhaul applications, providing core network services to radio access networks. It will focus on backhaul operating in licensed bands below 6 GHz, in which the backhaul radio operates far enough outside the band of the small cells that interference is negligible. It will add 256QAM, 512QAM, and 1024QAM options in both uplink and downlink, with optional 4x4 MIMO in both directions, along with further enhancements that address small cell backhaul efficiency. Significant latency improvements will be attained. Enhancements to the Convergence Sublayer specifications will be incorporated as necessary for support of Carrier Ethernet 2.0 backhaul requirements. The functionalities required for small cell backhaul support, including new functionalities but not necessarily all those included the baseline standard, will be specified explicitly.
For further information, including information on how to participate, contact:
- Ching-Tarng Hsieh, Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI)
- Chair, Project P802.16r
- Roger B. Marks, EthAirNet Associates
- Chair, IEEE 802.16 Working Group on Broadband Wireless Access Standards
About IEEE 802.16
The IEEE 802.16 Working Group on Broadband Wireless Access Standards has developed and is enhancing the WirelessMAN® standards of IEEE 802.16 and 802.16.1 for wireless metropolitan area networks. It is also developing the IEEE P802.16.3 project on Mobile Broadband Network Performance Measurements. The IEEE 802.16 Working Group is a unit of the IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee, the premier transnational forum for wired and wireless network standardization. A list of IEEE 802.16 standards and drafts is available on-line, as is an archive of previous Session Reports. The IEEE 802.16 Interactive Calendar includes sessions and deadlines.