Boosting 5G mm-Wave IAB Reliability with Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces

06/07/2021
by   Paolo Fiore, et al.
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The introduction of the mm-Wave spectrum into 5G NR promises to bring about unprecedented data throughput to future mobile wireless networks, but comes with several challenges. Network densification has been proposed as a viable solution to increase RAN resilience and newly introduced IAB is considered as a key enabling technology with compelling cost-reducing opportunities for such dense deployments. Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces (RISes) have recently gained extreme popularity as they can create Smart Radio Environments by EM wave manipulation. Recent studies have shown how this technology can behave as inexpensive passive relays. However, it is not yet clear what role this technology can play in a large RAN deployment. With the scope of filling this gap, we propose a new mm-Wave IAB planning tool where RISes can be installed alongside base stations to maximize the network resilience against blockages due to nomadic obstacles and human self-blocking. Numerical results show how adding RISes to IAB deployments can provide high levels of blockage resistance, while they also significantly reduce the overall network planning cost.

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