Dual Connectivity for LTE-NR Cellular Networks: Challenges and Open Issues
The Dual Connectivity (DC) technology has gained a lot of momentum in the LTE Release 12 as a means to enhance the per-user throughput and provide mobility robustness. Some studies in the literature have discussed the interworking between the LTE and the air interface of the upcoming Fifth Generation (5G) in a DC scenario. That integration may provide some benefits to meet the high throughput, reliability and availability requirements of the 5G networks. This work firstly presents a brief overview of the DC technology considering the integration between 4G e 5G. Then, we highlight some open issues and challenges for future investigation involving Radio Resource Management (RRM) in such a scenario, which includes: (i) user-cell association, (ii) interaction between base stations and (iii) resource allocation. After that, we propose an extension of a utility-based resource allocation algorithm for DC scenarios. Finally, a performance evaluation is conducted in multi-Radio Access Technology (RAT) LTE-NR scenarios considering the bearer split configuration of the DC technology, where the gains provided by the proposed algorithm are demonstrated.
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