Joint Power Control and Fronthaul Rate Allocation for Throughput Maximization in OFDMA-Based Cloud Radio Access Network

Liang Liu, Suzhi Bi, Rui Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


The performance of cloud radio access network (C-RAN) is constrained by the limited fronthaul link capacity under future heavy data traffic. To tackle this problem, extensive efforts have been devoted to design efficient signal quantization/compression techniques in the fronthaul to maximize the network throughput. However, most of the previous results are based on information-theoretical quantization methods, which are hard to implement practically due to the high complexity. In this paper, we propose using practical uniform scalar quantization in the uplink communication of an orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA) based C-RAN system, where the mobile users are assigned with orthogonal sub-carriers for transmission. In particular, we study the joint wireless power control and fronthaul quantization design over the sub-carriers to maximize the system throughput. Efficient algorithms are proposed to solve the joint optimization problem when either information-theoretical or practical fronthaul quantization method is applied. We show that the fronthaul capacity constraints have significant impact to the optimal wireless power control policy. As a result, the joint optimization shows significant performance gain compared with optimizing only wireless power control or fronthaul quantization. Besides, we also show that the proposed simple uniform quantization scheme performs very close to the throughput performance upper bound, and in fact overlaps with the upper bound when the fronthaul capacity is sufficiently large. Overall, our results reveal practically achievable throughput performance of C-RAN for its efficient deployment in the next-generation wireless communication systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7208841
Pages (from-to)4097-4110
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Communications
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cloud radio access network (C-RAN)
  • fronthaul constraint
  • orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA)
  • power control
  • quantize-and-forward
  • throughput maximization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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