Spectrum and energy efficiency evaluation of two-tier femtocell networks with partially open channels

Xiaohu Ge, Tao Han, Yan Zhang, Guoqiang Mao, Cheng-Xiang Wang, Jing Zhang, Bin Yang, Sheng Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Two-tier femtocell networks are an efficient communication architecture that significantly improves throughput in indoor environments with low power consumption. Traditionally, a femtocell network is usually configured to be either completely open or completely closed in that its channels are either made available to all users or used by its own users only. This may limit network flexibility and performance. It is desirable for owners of femtocell base stations if a femtocell can partially open its channels for external-user access. In such scenarios, spectrum and energy efficiency becomes a critical issue in the design of femtocell network protocols and structure. In this paper, we conduct performance analysis for two-tier femtocell networks with partially open channels. In particular, we build a Markov chain to model the channel access in the femtocell network and then derive the performance metrics in terms of the blocking probabilities. Based on stationary state probabilities derived by Markov chain models, spectrum and energy efficiency is modeled and analyzed under different scenarios characterized by critical parameters, including number of femtocells in a macrocell, average number of users, and number of open channels in a femtocell. Numerical and Monte Carlo (MC) simulation results indicate that the number of open channels in a femtocell has an adverse impact on the spectrum and energy efficiency of two-tier femtocell networks. Results in this paper provide guidelines for trading off spectrum and energy efficiency of two-tier femtocell networks by configuring different numbers of open channels in a femtocell.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1306-1319
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


  • Energy efficiency
  • femtocell networks
  • Markov chain
  • performance analysis
  • spectrum efficiency
  • COST

Cite this