tinyLTE: Lightweight, Ad-Hoc Deployable Cellular Network for Vehicular Communication

by   Fabian Eckermann, et al.

The application of LTE technology has evolved from infrastructure-based deployments in licensed bands to new use cases covering ad hoc, device-to-device communications and unlicensed band operation. Vehicular communication is an emerging field of particular interest for LTE, covering in our understanding both automotive (cars) as well as unmanned aerial vehicles. Existing commercial equipment is designed for infrastructure making it unsuitable for vehicular applications requiring low weight and unlicensed band support (e.g. 5.9 GHz ITS-band). In this work, we present tinyLTE, a system design which provides fully autonomous, multi-purpose and ultra-compact LTE cells by utilizing existing open source eNB and EPC implementations. Due to its small form factor and low weight, the tinyLTE system enables mobile deployment on board of cars and drones as well as smooth integration with existing roadside infrastructure. Additionally, the standalone design allows for systems to be chained in a multi-hop configuration. The paper describes the lean and low-cost design concept and implementation followed by a performance evaluation for single and two-hop configurations at 5.9 GHz. The results from both lab and field experiments validate the feasibility of the tinyLTE approach and demonstrate its potential to even support real-time vehicular applications (e.g. with a lowest average end-to-end latency of around 7 ms in the lab experiment).


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