Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Kuang-Ching Wang

Committee Member

Harlan Russell

Committee Member

Linke Guo

Committee Member

Long Cheng

Committee Member

Jim Martin


The fifth-generation (5G) networks and beyond need paradigm shifts to realize the exponentially increasing demands of next-generation services for high throughputs, low latencies, and reliable communication under various mobility scenarios. However, these promising features have critical gaps that need to be filled before they can be fully implemented for mobile applications in complex environments like smart cities. Although the sub-6 GHz bands can provide reliable and larger coverage, they cannot provide high data rates with low latencies due to a scarcity of spectrum available in these bands. Millimeter wave (mmWave) communication is a key enabler for a significant increase in the performance of these networks due to the availability of large bands of spectrum. However, the extremely limited transmission range of mmWave frequencies leads to poor reliability, especially for mobility scenarios.

In this work, we present and evaluate the solutions in three key areas for achieving high throughput along with reliable low latency connection, especially for mobility scenarios in next-generation cellular networks. To enable the 5G networks to meet the demanding requirements of cellular networks, we look into (1) multi-connectivity for enhancing the performance of next-generation cellular networks, (2) designing a reliable network using multi-connectivity, and (3) developing a multilink scheme with efficient radio resource management. Despite the technological advances made in the design and evolution of 5G networks, emerging services impose stringent requirements which have not been fully met by 5G networks so far. The work in this dissertation aims to explore the challenges of future networks and address the needs in the three areas listed above. The results of the study open opportunities to resolve real-world 5G network issues.

As 5G networks need to fulfill the rising performance demands of upcoming applications and industry verticals, we first study and evaluate multi-connectivity, which involves simultaneous connectivity with multiple radio access technologies or multiple bands, as a key enabler in improving the performance of the 5G networks. 5G networks are designed to have several small cells operating in the mmWave frequency range using ultra-dense networks (UDN) deployments to provide continuous coverage. But, such deployments not only face challenges in terms of frequent handovers, higher latency, lower reliability, and higher interference levels but also in terms of increasing complexity and cost of deployment, unbalanced load distributions, and power requirements. To address the challenges in high density base station deployments, we study and evaluate novel deployment strategies using multi-connectivity. In NR-NR Dual Connectivity (NR-DC), the user equipment (UE) is connected simultaneously to two gNBs, with one acting as the master node and the other as the secondary node to improve the performance of the 5G system. The master node operating at the sub-6 GHz bands provides high reliability, and the secondary node using the high bandwidth mmWave bands provides the high throughputs expected of 5G networks. This deployment also improves the latency as it decreases the number of handovers and link establishments. Thus, in this dissertation, we propose and evaluate novel 5G deployments with multi-connectivity, which can be used to ensure that these 5G networks are able to meet the demanding requirements of future services.

The 5G networks also need to support ultra-reliable low latency communication, which refers to using the network for mission-critical communication that requires high reliability along with low latency. However, technological advancements so far have not been able to fully meet all these requirements. Thus, in this work, we design a reliable 5G network using multi-connectivity, which can simultaneously support high throughputs along with ultra-reliable low latency communication. Deployments using mmWave bands are highly susceptible to channel fluctuations and blockages. Thus, it is critical to consider new techniques and approaches that address these needs and can be implemented practically. In this work, we propose and implement a novel approach using packet duplication and its optimization in an NR-DC system to improve the performance of the system. In an NR-DC deployment with packet duplication, multiple instances of a packet are generated and transmitted simultaneously over different uncorrelated channels between the UE and the base stations, which decreases the packet failure probability. We also propose enhancements to the packet duplication feature for efficient radio resource utilization by looking into the distance of the UE from the base station, the velocity of the UE, and the received signal strength indicator (RSSI) levels. The proposed system improves the performance in terms of throughput, latency, and reliability under varying mobility scenarios.

Finally, the 5G networks need to meet the increasing demands of uplink data traffic for applications such as autonomous driving, IoT applications, live video, etc. However, the uplink performance is lower compared to the downlink, and hence, it is critical for 5G to improve uplink performance. Thus, there are open research questions on what should be the network architecture with efficient radio resource utilization to meet the stringent requirements for mobility scenarios. In this work, we propose a novel uplink scheme where the UE performs only a single transmission on a common channel, and every base station that can receive this signal would accept and process it. This technique increases the probability of successful transmission and hence, increases the reliability of the network. It also removes the need to perform frequent handovers and allows high mobility with reduced latency. In this work, we propose and evaluate novel approaches for improving the performance of next-generation networks, which will be a key enabler for future applications. The proposed 5G techniques are shown to significantly improve the throughput, latency, and reliability simultaneously and are able to fulfill the stringent requirements of future services. Our work focuses on developing novel solutions for addressing the challenges involved in building next-generation cellular networks. In the future, we plan to further develop our system for real-world city-scale deployments.

Author ORCID Identifier




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