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A relay network is a broad class of network topology commonly used in wireless networks, where the source and destination are interconnected by means of some nodes.

Relaying is one of the features being proposed for the 4G LTE Advanced system. The aim of LTE relaying is to enhance both coverage and capacity.

The idea of relays is not new, but LTE relays and LTE relaying is being considered to ensure that the optimum performance is achieved to enable the expectations of the users to be met while still keeping OPEX within the budgeted bounds.

                                                       Fig:    Relay Network

Need for LTE relay Technology?

One of the main drivers for the use of LTE is the high data rates that can be achieved. However all technologies suffer from reduced data rates at the cell edge where signal levels are lower and interference levels are typically higher.

The use of technologies such as MIMO, OFDM and advanced error correction techniques improve throughput under many conditions, but do not fully mitigate the problems experienced at the cell edge.

As cell edge performance is becoming more critical, with some of the technologies being pushed towards their limits, it is necessary to look at solutions that will enhance performance at the cell edge for a comparatively low cost. One solution that is being investigated and proposed is that of the use of LTE relays.

Increase network density: LTE relay nodes can be deployed very easily in situations where the aim is to increase network capacity by increasing the number of eNBs to ensure good signal levels are received by all users. LTE relays are easy to install as they require no separate backhaul and they are small enabling them to be installed in many convenient areas, e.g. on street lamps, on walls, etc.

  Network coverage extension : LTE relays can be used as a convenient method of filling small holes in coverage. With no need to install a complete base station, the relay can be quickly installed so that it fills in the coverage blackspot.

Rapid network roll-out: Without the need to install backhaul, or possibly install large masts, LTE relays can provide a very easy method of extending coverage during the early roll-out of a network. More traditional eNBs may be installed later as the traffic volumes increase.

Improves coverage, capacity, QoS at a reduced cost: relays help in decreasing costs. Deploying a base station is very expensive and it can be substituted by using relays stations. The main aim of providing multihop relay networks is to improve the coverage, capacity and to provide advanced QoS


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