On the accuracy of the wyner model in cellular networks

Jiaming Xu, Jun Zhang, Jeffrey G. Andrews

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

120 Citations (Scopus)


The Wyner model has been widely used to model and analyze cellular networks due to its simplicity and analytical tractability. Its key aspects include fixed user locations and the deterministic and homogeneous interference intensity. While clearly a significant simplification of a real cellular system, which has random user locations and interference levels that vary by several orders of magnitude over a cell, a common presumption by theorists is that the Wyner model nevertheless captures the essential aspects of cellular interactions. But is this true? To answer this question, we compare the Wyner model to a model that includes random user locations and fading. We consider both uplink and downlink transmissions and both outage-based and average-based metrics. For the uplink, for both metrics, we conclude that the Wyner model is in fact quite accurate for systems with a sufficient number of simultaneous users, e.g., a CDMA system. Conversely, it is broadly inaccurate otherwise. Turning to the downlink, the Wyner model becomes inaccurate even for systems with a large number of simultaneous users. In addition, we derive an approximation for the main parameter in the Wyner model the interference intensity term, which depends on the path loss exponent.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5951699
Pages (from-to)3098-3109
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • CDMA
  • Cellular IT models
  • multicell processing
  • TDMA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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