Wednesday 11 June 2014

X2: The necessity for Interoperability and Interference management in HetNets

Recently I wrote an article in the TMN magazine here about HetNet co-ordination. One important point that I mentioned here (and in several of the trainings that I do) is that X2 can be quite a useful interface, especially when you want to manage Interference between just macro cells or between different types of cells, as in HetNet environment. From the TMN article:

The initial deployments of LTE did not pay too much emphasis on X2 interface being present. Inter-operability was another issue for which X2 didn’t work very well. One of the major benefits of having an X2 interface is that different base stations or eNodeB’s (hereafter referred to as just eNB’s) can talk to each other and coordinate to make sure interference is kept at the minimum, especially on the cell edges. The Macro-cell’s had the provision for the X2 interface from the beginning, which formed the basis for Inter-Cell Interference Coordination (ICIC). Initially, the Small-cell’s didn’t have a facility for an X2 interface amongst them or with the Macro-cell. The support of X2 for Small-cell’s was added in 3GPP Release-10 and 3GPP Relese-11 (hereafter referred to as just Release-10 and Release-11) as seen in the picture. X2 for Small-cell’s is crucial for Interference management in HetNets.

The Small Cell Forum just published a whitepaper called "X2 interoperability in multi-vendor X2 HetNets". This paper is quite interesting with just the right amount of details. In their own words:

A key area of standardization needed to support small cells relates to the procedures to assist co-ordination with macrocells over LTE’s ‘X2’ interface. This document surveys standards currently in place to support frequency domain interference coordination,time domain interference coordination, mobility robustness and mobility load balancing. 

The whitepaper is available to download from here and is embedded below:

1 comment:

  1. Manoj Das (via HetNet Linkedin group)12 June 2014 at 07:31

    Thanks Zahid! X2 compatibility is very important for LTE HetNets to be successful. Presently we are seeing X2 interfaces are incompatible with different RAN OEMs.