Some Observations on IEEE PIMRC 2013

I attended IEEE PIMRC’13 conference which was held in London, UK on 7-10 September to present a paper on energy efficiency improvement through indoor small cell deployment. It was my first attendance to PIMRC and I found it more useful compared to Globecom due to its focus on mobile radio networks. As a drawback, it required a good planning since there were many good talks, panels, poster presentations happening at the same time! :(

1000 times more traffic, billions of users, high data rate requirements, are again pointed as the biggest challenges towards future mobile radio networks. Some of my colleagues have shared their observations from the conference from different perspectives in the following posts by Du Ho Kang, Dr. Ki Won Sung and Dr. Jan Markendahl.
If you are a new PhD student and are going to attend an international conference soon, I suggest you to read Dr. Sung’s nice “survival” guide. On the other hand, if you are a senior researcher working on cognitive radio, dynamic spectrum access, spectrum sharing areas, I strongly suggest you to read the summary of the panel with the title “Is spectrum sharing really needed?” lead by Dr. Markendahl. I should say that it was one of the most useful and informative panel I have ever attended which gathered senior people with different backgrounds to represent the operator, the vendor, the university and the regulator perspectives. This interactive panel not only involved audiences with short “Yes/No” answers but also initiated further discussions on when spectrum sharing will be really needed. After all these discussions from different perspectives, I can say that most of the people believe in the necessity of spectrum sharing in 5 years considering the data tsunami.

Considering my research interest, i.e., energy efficiency in wireless access networks, I would say that the conference was indeed very beneficial. Half day long tutorial with the title Green Heterogeneous Small-cell Networks given by Muhammad Zeeshan Shakir, half day workshop on End-to-End Green Cellular Network (Green Cellular ’13) with many interesting talks were very useful for my research. There were also several technical sessions assigned to energy efficiency studies from PHY layer to system level. Dynamic spectrum and traffic load management, heterogeneous network deployment, resource allocation methods, utilization of cognitive radio, virtual MIMO, and SON for energy saving were some of the solution proposals for green wireless access networks. One particular study by Dr. Pål Frenger from Ericsson Research on estimating future radio network energy consumption took a lot of attention from the audience due to its comprehensive analysis. The authors aim to answer whether it is possible for Vodafone to achieve their very challenging target, i.e., “to reduce the CO2 emissions by 50% against the 2006/07 baseline by March 2020 despite network densification, LTE rollout, and traffic growth.” This “simple” question indeed requires a different methodology to comprehend the current network situation with realistic models as well as reasonable estimations on how the Vodafone network will be evolved until 2020. The study analyzes the network and the traffic, and presents 2G and 3G RBS power models and finally clearly shows with realistic assumptions how the proposed energy saving solutions (e.g., modernization, small cell deployment, sleep mode techniques, etc.,) can lower the total energy consumption even though LTE is introduced and aggressive network densification is needed until 2020. I strongly recommend everyone to take a look at this comprehensive case study and interesting conclusions drawn.

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