C2M: Mobile data offloading to mesh networks
As the unprecedented growth of mobile data traffic places significant strain on cellular networks, alternative plans for exploiting already existing and under-utilized wireless infrastructure, become quite attractive. In this paper, we study cellular-to-mesh (C2M) data offloading for LTE-A cellular mobile users to WiFi mesh networks, which are built and managed collaboratively by users. Such networks are developed in the context of community networks or, recently, as commercial services among residential users. Mobile network operators can lease these mesh networks to offload their traffic and reduce their servicing cost. In this context, we introduce an analytical framework that determines which mobile users should be offloaded, based on the energy cost incurred to the cellular base stations (eNB) for serving their demands. Accordingly, we design a routing policy that the mesh network can employ so as to serve the offloaded traffic with the minimum possible cost. Moreover, the reimbursement offered by the operator should be dispensed to the different mesh users, according to their contribution and added-value significance. We address this issue by employing the Shapley value profit sharing rule, which ensures the participation of the mesh nodes in this joint task. We evaluate our work by simulating the operation of the LTE-A network, and conducting testbed experimentation for the mesh network. The results reveal significant savings for eNBs power consumption and compensation profits for mesh users. © 2014 IEEE.
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