Journal article Open Access

On Interference Avoidance Through Inter-Cell Interference Coordination (ICIC) Based on OFDMA Mobile Systems

Kosta, Chrysovalantis; Hunt, Bernard; Quddus, Atta Ui; Tafazolli, Rahim

The widely accepted OFDMA air interface technology has recently been adopted in most mobile standards by the wireless industry. However, similar to other frequency-time multiplexed systems, their performance is limited by inter-cell interference. To address this performance degradation, interference mitigation can be employed to maximize the potential capacity of such interference-limited systems. This paper surveys key issues in mitigating interference and gives an overview of the recent developments of a promising mitigation technique, namely, interference avoidance through inter-cell interference coordination (ICIC). By using optimization theory, an ICIC problem is formulated in a multi-cell OFDMA-based system and some research directions in simplifying the problem and associated challenges are given. Furthermore, we present the main trends of interference avoidance techniques that can be incorporated in the main ICIC formulation. Although this paper focuses on 3GPP LTE/LTE-A mobile networks in the downlink, a similar framework can be applied for any typical multi-cellular environment based on OFDMA technology. Some promising future directions are identified and, finally, the state-of-the-art interference avoidance techniques are compared under LTE-system parameters.

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