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Integrated access and backhaul for 5G and beyond

July 30, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

The number of devices requesting for wireless communications is growing exponentially. Network densification via the deployment of many base stations (BSs) of different types is one of the mechanisms that can be employed to satisfy the ever-increasing demand for bandwidth/capacity in wireless networks. However, deploying fiber to the small cells may be expensive and impractical when the number of small cells increases. For this reason, as well as because of the traffic jams and infrastructure displacements caused by fiber optic installation, millimeter wave (mmw)-based wireless backhaul is currently considered as an alternative, providing (almost) the same rate as fiber optic with significantly less price and no digging. With this background, integrated access and backhaul (IAB) networks, where the operator can utilize part of the radio resources for wireless backhauling, has recently received considerable attention. The purpose of IAB is to replace existing backhaul systems with flexible wireless backhaul using the existing 3GPP bands providing not only backhaul but also existing cellular services in the same node. This creates more flexibility and reduces the implementation cost. For 5G NR, IAB is currently considered as a work item in 3GPP, and it is known as one of the main novelties of 5G. In this talk, we review the main backhauling techniques, and present the main motivations/standardization agreements on IAB. Moreover, We present comparisons between the IAB networks and the cases where all or part of the small access points are fiber-connected. Finally, we study the robustness of IAB networks to environmental effects and verify the effect of the blockage, the tree foliage, the rain as well as the antenna height/gain on the coverage rate of IAB setups, as the key differences between the fiber-connected and IAB networks. As we show, IAB is an attractive setup enabling 5G and beyond. Speaker(s): Behrooz Makki, Virtual: https://events.vtools.ieee.org/m/272959