Mobility-Aware Modeling and Analysis of Dense Cellular Networks with C-plane/U-plane Split Architecture

The unrelenting increase in the population of mobile users and their traffic demands drive cellular network operators to densify their network infrastructure. Network densification shrinks the footprint of base stations (BSs) and reduces the number of users associated with each BS, leading to an improved spatial frequency reuse and spectral efficiency, and thus, higher network capacity. However, the densification gain come at the expense of higher handover rates and network control overhead. Hence, users mobility can diminish or even nullifies the foreseen densification gain. In this context, splitting the control plane (C-plane) and user plane (U-plane) is proposed as a potential solution to harvest densification gain with reduced cost in terms of handover rate and network control overhead. In this article, we use stochastic geometry to develop a tractable mobility-aware model for a two-tier downlink cellular network with ultra-dense small cells and C-plane/U-plane split architecture. The developed model is then used to quantify the effect of mobility on the foreseen densification gain with and without C-plane/U-plane split. To this end, we shed light on the handover problem in dense cellular environments, show scenarios where the network fails to support certain mobility profiles, and obtain network design insights.

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