Energy Efficient User Association for Cloud Radio Access Networks

J. Zuo, Jun Zhang, C. Yuen, W. Jiang, W. Luo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016 IEEE.Cloud radio access network (C-RAN) and massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) are recognized as two key technologies for the fifth-generation mobile networks. In this paper, we consider the energy efficiency-based user association problem in massive MIMO empowered C-RAN, where multiple antennae are clustered at each remote radio head (RRH). We first obtain the deterministic equivalent expression of the energy efficiency, and then propose three user association algorithms, named nearest-based user association (NBUA), single-candidate RRH user association (SCRUA), and multi-candidate RRHs user association (MCRUA), respectively. In NBUA and SCRUA, each user is associated with only one RRH, and in MCRUA, multiple RRHs can serve the same user. In our algorithms, the impact of the power consumption of fronthaul links and antennas is considered by allowing inefficient RRHs to be turned into sleep mode. We provide the numerical comparisons of the proposed algorithms and a state-of-the-art baseline, which associates each user with the nearest RRH. The results show that our proposed algorithms achieve higher energy efficiency than the baseline algorithm. The proposed MCRUA algorithm achieves a good balance between spectral and energy efficiency, and the performance gain is more significant when the number of users is large.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7467416
Pages (from-to)2429-2438
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cloud radio access networks
  • energy efficiency
  • Massive MIMO
  • user association

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)

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