About this Research Topic
The number of devices requesting for wireless communications is growing exponentially. Network densification via the deployment of many base stations (BSs) of different types is one of the mechanisms that can be employed to satisfy the ever-increasing demand for bandwidth/capacity in wireless networks. However, deploying fiber to the small cells may be expensive and impractical when the number of small cells increases. For this reason, as well as because of the traffic jams and infrastructure displacements caused by fiber optic installation, millimeter wave (mmw)-based wireless backhaul is currently considered as the best alternative, providing (almost) the same rate as fiber optic with significantly less price and no digging. With this background, integrated access and backhaul (IAB) networks, where the operator can utilize part of the radio resources for wireless backhauling, has recently received considerable attention. The purpose of IAB is to replace existing backhaul systems with flexible wireless backhaul using the existing 3GPP bands providing not only backhaul but also existing cellular services in the same node, to create more flexibility and reduce the implementation cost. For 5G NR, IAB is currently considered as a work item in 3GPP, and it is known as one of the main novelties of 5G.
This research topic is devoted to IAB networks. High quality technical papers reporting on original theoretical and experimental results on the performance of IAB networks are solicited. Of particular interest is the following, non exclusive, list of principal topics:
- Outdoor and indoor IAB-based communications.
- MIMO and efficient beamforming in IAB networks.
- Performance analysis of IAB networks in rural and metropolitan areas.
- Routing and topology adaptation in IAB networks.
- IAB with efficient access and backhaul resource allocation.
- Mobile IAB.
- Hybrid IAB, fiber and wireless optics for backhualing.
- IAB using Full duplex.
- Modeling and analysis of IAB networks using stochastic geometry.
- IAB versus fiber: cost and performance analysis.
- Experimental demonstrations, tests, and performance characterizations of IAB networks.
- Topology optimization of IAB networks.
The experts of the field are invited to submit their high-quality and original works for evaluation in the research topic. Both theoretical and simulation results are of interest. As IAB is a relatively new research topic, our objective is to address different research problems including topology optimization/adaptation, efficient resource allocation, as well as comparisons/combinations with the state-of-the-art backhauling methods. The focus of the research topic will be on millimetre wave-based communications, as the main point of interest in IAB networks, and to design IAB-specific transmission schemes in such high frequencies. A deep analysis of these problems may pave the way for further enhancements of IAB in industry.
Keywords: Integrated access and backhaul (IAB), Wireless backhaul, Millimetre wave communications, Relay, Network densification
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.