Heterogeneous Networks (HetNets) – an approach to increasing cellular capacity and coverage
Heterogeneous networks (HetNets) are an attractive means of expanding mobile network capacity. A heterogeneous network (HetNet) is typically composed of multiple radio access technologies, architectures, transmission solutions, and base stations of varying transmission power.
This article analyzes expansion strategies, covers important design choices for heterogeneous networks (HetNets), and explores how to coordinate low power nodes and macro base stations.
Mobile-broadband traffic is increasing. In parallel, new applications are raising expectations for higher data rates in both the uplink and the downlink. Creating a heterogeneous network (HetNet) by introducing low power nodes is an attractive approach to meeting these traffic demands and performance expectations. By combining low power nodes with an improved and densified macro layer, very high traffic volumes and data rates can be supported. The nature of the existing network, as well as technical and economic considerations, will dictate which approach – improving the macro layer; densifying the macro layer; or adding pico nodes – or combination of approaches best meets volume and data-rate targets.