Wireless Personal Communications

, Volume 101, Issue 1, pp 305–323 | Cite as

Cell Selection for Load Balancing in Heterogeneous Networks

  • Yasin Aghazadeh
  • Hashem Kalbkhani
  • Mahrokh G. Shayesteh
  • Vahid Solouk


The vision of advanced long-term evolution (LTE-A) project is set to ultimate increase of network capacity in heterogeneous networks (HetNets). In HetNets with small cell configuration, a considerable majority of user devices is eventually connected to the macrocell base station (MBS), while small base stations (BSs), such as femtocell access points (FAPs), are still without any user. This results in unbalanced load and reduces the data rate of macrocell user equipment (MUE). In this paper, a method is proposed for load balancing among FAPs, while desired throughput is achieved. The proposed method uses the estimated received signal strength from different BSs and adjusted pilot signals. Under the critical signal to interference plus noise ratio (SINR) condition, a list of candidate FAPs is prepared. The updated candidate list henceforth does not include the least visited FAPs, which in turn leads to lower unnecessary handoffs. Once the BS with the highest number of free RBs and the highest pilot signal power is selected, FAP allocates the RBs with higher SINRs (qualified RBs) to user. In the case of FAP unavailability, the algorithm compels users to connect to the MBS with adequate qualified RBs. The performance of the proposed method was evaluated under a variety of FAPs density, and the number and velocity of users in terms of throughput and Jain’s fairness index. The results evidence affordable improvements in the throughput and Jain’s index in comparison with other methods.


Cell selection Jain’s index Load balancing Femtocell Pilot signal 



  1. 1.
    De La Roche, G., Valcarce, A., López-Pérez, D., & Zhang, J. (2010). Access control mechanisms for femtocells. Communications Magazine, IEEE, 48(1), 33–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Kwon, Y. J., & Cho, D.-H. (2011). Load based cell selection algorithm for faulted handover in indoor femtocell network. In Vehicular technology conference (VTC Spring), 2011 IEEE 73rd (pp. 1–5). IEEE.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Andrews, J., Singh, S., Ye, Q., Lin, X., & Dhillon, H. (2014). An overview of load balancing in HetNets: Old myths and open problems. Wireless Communications, IEEE, 21(2), 18–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ye, Q., Al-Shalashy, M., Caramanis, C., & Andrews, J. G. (2013). On/off macrocells and load balancing in heterogeneous cellular networks. In Global communications conference (GLOBECOM), 2013 IEEE (pp. 3814–3819). IEEE.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bjerke, B. (2011). LTE-advanced and the evolution of LTE deployments. Wireless Communications, IEEE, 18(5), 4–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Damnjanovic, A., et al. (2011). A survey on 3GPP heterogeneous networks. Wireless Communications, IEEE, 18(3), 10–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lee, C.-H. (2011). Study of load balance in 3GPP femto-cell network. In Network operations and management symposium (APNOMS), 2011 13th Asia-Pacific (pp. 1–4). IEEE.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kahwa, T., & Georganas, N. (1978). A hybrid channel assignment scheme in large-scale, cellular-structured mobile communication systems. Communications, IEEE Transactions on, 26(4), 432–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Jiang, H. & Rappaport Stephen, S. (1994). CBWL: A new channel assignment and sharing method for cellular communication systems. In IEEE transactions on vehicular technology (vol. 43(2), pp. 313–322).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Das, S. K., Sen, S. K., & Jayaram, R. (1997). A dynamic load balancing strategy for channel assignment using selective borrowing in cellular mobile environment. Wireless Networks, 3(5), 333–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Das, S. K., Sen, S. K., & Jayaram, R. (1998). A novel load balancing scheme for the tele-traffic hot spot problem in cellular networks. Wireless Networks, 4(4), 325–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Eklundh, B. (1986). Channel utilization and blocking probability in a cellular mobile telephone system with directed retry. IEEE Transactions on Communications, 34(4), 329–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Wu, X., Mukherjee, B. & Chan, S.-H. (2000). Maca-an efficient channel allocation scheme in cellular networks. In Global telecommunications conference, 2000. GLOBECOM’00. IEEE (vol. 3, pp. 1385–1389). IEEE.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Cavalcanti, D., Agrawal, D., Cordeiro, C., Xie, B., & Kumar, A. (2005). Issues in integrating cellular networks WLANs, AND MANETs: A futuristic heterogeneous wireless network. Wireless Communications, IEEE, 12(3), 30–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Yanmaz, E., & Tonguz, O. K. (2004). Dynamic load balancing and sharing performance of integrated wireless networks. IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, 22(5), 862–872.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Das, S., Viswanathan, H. & Rittenhouse, G. (2003). Dynamic load balancing through coordinated scheduling in packet data systems. In INFOCOM 2003. Twenty-Second annual joint conference of the ieee computer and communications. IEEE societies (vol. 1, pp. 786–796). IEEE.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bejerano, Y., & Han, S.-J. (2009). Cell breathing techniques for load balancing in wireless LANs. IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, 8(6), 735–749.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Khandekar, A., Bhushan, N., Tingfang, J. & Vanghi, V. (2010). LTE-advanced: Heterogeneous networks. In Wireless conference (EW), 2010 European (pp. 978–982). IEEE.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ramjee, T. B. L. E. L. R. (2006). Generalized proportional fair scheduling in third generation wireless data networks. In IEEE INFOCOM (pp. 1–12).Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Bejerano, Y., Han, S.-J. & Li, L. E. (2004). Fairness and load balancing in wireless LANs using association control. In Proceedings of the 10th annual international conference on Mobile computing and networking (pp. 315–329). ACM.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kim, H., de Veciana, G., Yang, X. & Venkatachalam, M. (2010). Alpha-optimal user association and cell load balancing in wireless networks. In INFOCOM, 2010 proceedings IEEE (pp. 1–5). IEEE.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Ye, Q., Rong, B., Chen, Y., Al-Shalash, M., Caramanis, C., & Andrews, J. G. (2013). User association for load balancing in heterogeneous cellular networks. IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, 12(6), 2706–2716.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ye, Q., Rong, B., Chen, Y., Caramanis, C., & Andrews, J. G. (2012). Towards an optimal user association in heterogeneous cellular networks. In Global communications conference (GLOBECOM), 2012 IEEE (pp. 4143–4147), IEEE.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Oh, J & Han, Y (2012). Cell selection for range expansion with almost blank subframe in heterogeneous networks. In 2012 IEEE 23rd international symposium on personal indoor and mobile radio communications (PIMRC) (pp. 653–657). IEEE.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Novlan, T., Andrews, J. G., Sohn, I., Ganti, R. K., & Ghosh, A. (2010). Comparison of fractional frequency reuse approaches in the OFDMA cellular downlink. In Global telecommunications conference (GLOBECOM 2010), 2010 IEEE (pp. 1–5). IEEE.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Lee, P., Lee, T., Jeong, J. & Shin, J. (2010). Interference management in LTE femtocell systems using fractional frequency reuse. In 2010 The 12th international conference on advanced communication technology (ICACT) (vol. 2, pp. 1047–1051). IEEE.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Kalbkhani, H., Yousefi, S., & Shayesteh, M. G. (2014). Adaptive handover algorithm in heterogeneous femtocellular networks based on received signal strength and signal-to-interference-plus-noise ratio prediction. Communications, IET, 8(17), 3061–3071.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Kalbkhani, H., Solouk, V., & Shayesteh, M. (2015). Resource allocation in integrated femto–macrocell networks based on location awareness. IET Communications, 9(7), 917–932.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Le, L. B., Hoang, D. T., Niyato, D., Hossain, E. & Kim, D. I. (2012). Joint load balancing and admission control in OFDMA-based femtocell networks. In 2012 IEEE international conference on communications (ICC) (pp. 5135–5139), IEEE.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Nguyen, A. D., Sénac, P., Ramiro, V., & Diaz, M. (2011). STEPS-an approach for human mobility modeling networking. Springer, 2011, 254–265.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Pourmina, M. A., & MirMotahhary, N. (2012). Load balancing algorithm by vertical handover for integrated heterogeneous wireless networks. EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking, 2012(1), 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Koksal, C. E., Kassab, H. & Balakrishnan, H. (2000). An analysis of short-term fairness in wireless media access protocols (poster session). In ACM SIGMETRICS Performance Evaluation Review, (vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 118–119). ACM.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Goldsmith, A. (2005). Wireless communications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Bălan, I. M., Sas, B., Jansen, T., Moerman, I., Spaey, K., & Demeester, P. (2011). An enhanced weighted performance-based handover parameter optimization algorithm for LTE networks. EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking, 2011(1), 1–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Qiu, X., & Chawla, K. (1999). On the performance of adaptive modulation in cellular systems. IEEE Transactions on Communications, 47(6), 884–895.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Coifman, R. R., & Wickerhauser, M. V. (1992). Entropy-based algorithms for best basis selection. IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, 38(2), 713–718.CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Sediq, A. B., Gohary, R. H., Schoenen, R., & Yanikomeroglu, H. (2013). Optimal tradeoff between sum-rate efficiency and Jain’s fairness index in resource allocation. IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, 12(7), 3496–3509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Innovations, T. (2010). LTE in a Nutshell. In White paper Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Electrical EngineeringUrmia UniversityUrmiaIran
  2. 2.Wireless Research Lab, ACRI, Electrical Engineering DepartmentSharif University of TechnologyTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of IT and Computer EngineeringUrmia University of TechnologyUrmiaIran

Personalised recommendations