Device-to-Device (D2D) communications has been gaining more popularity among researchers in both academia and industry. It has the potential to offload traffic from cellular networks, improve energy efficiency, and extend coverage, etc. D2D enables mobile devices in proximity to establish local links for data communications. D2D enables novel wireless applications for proximity services and public safety communications. Our recent research shows that indeed, D2D is also the most powerful tool to boost cellular capacity, from frequency reuse 1 of today’s LTE-A networks, to as high as for example 10, or even higher. In addition, the sacrifice of the performance of existing cellular links to enable such a boost is almost completely negligible!
This exciting research result is what I have shared at Infocom 2015 in Hong Kong, a top ranked conference on networking, in the end of April. Our research has developed a standard-compatible solution to maximize the network frequency use, by means of enabling the highest number of simultaneous D2D communications in multi-cell network environment while reusing the same resource as cellular users. To mitigate the impact to existing cellular users, a careful design of interference coordination is needed. This design effectively controls interferences among the two layers of network in D2D enabled cellular networks, i.e. the cellular layer and the D2D layer, while ensures QoS of all devices. Curious about how good it is? Take a look at the following curves. The network spectrum efficiency is boosted by more than 10 times! Surely, the improvement is dependent on user density, but it shows a promising way to go. If you’re interested in more details, please refer to our paper at Infocom for more details: “Scalable Interference Coordination for Device-to-Device Communications”.