Realizing the Potential of Small Cells: An Experimental Approach

March 19, 2012
Mudd 1024
Hosted by: Columbia CS/EE Networking Seminar
Speaker: Dr. Karthik Sundaresan , Research Staff Member (Mobile Communications and Networking Research, NEC Labs America)


The proliferation of mobile devices and the associated exponential growth of mobile data traffic have increased the pressure on network operators to scale their network capacity. While physical layer advancements provide moderate gains, newer architectures like small cells are needed to provide a radical improvement. Small cells bring users closer to the base station and allow for more aggressive spatial reuse of the spectrum. While there are various forms of small cells, given that a large fraction of the mobile traffic originates indoors (enterprises, residences), I will focus on "femtocells" that reuse the broadband backhaul in this talk.

While femtocells inherit the dense and uncoordinated deployment characteristic of WiFi networks, their use of the same access technology as macrocell networks, makes the problem of interference management significantly more challenging. With the help of a small-scale experimental OFDMA (WiMAX) femtocell network deployed at NEC Labs America, I will discuss the various factors that influence interference management in such networks and derive guidelines for the design of an efficient resource management solution. I will then briefly present two practical systems that we have built to address the problem of resource management for enterprise (centralized) and residential (distributed) femtocell networks respectively. Finally, I will conclude by highlighting other architectural innovations that are being considered for the deployment of small cells in next generation wireless access networks.

Speaker Biography

Karthikeyan Sundaresan is a research staff member in the Mobile Communications and Networking Research in NEC Laboratories America. His research interests are in the areas of wireless networks and mobile computing and span both algorithm design as well as system prototyping. He received his Ph.D. from the school of ECE in Georgia Institute of Technology. He has been the recipient of several best paper awards at ACM MobiHoc 2008, IEEE ICNP 2005 and IEEE SECON 2005.

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