Assessing IEEE 802.11 and IEEE 802.16 as Backhauling Technologies for 3G Small Cells in Rural Areas of Developing Countries
Mobile Information Systems
Mobile networks are experiencing a great development in urban areas worldwide, and developing countries are not an exception. However, sparsely populated rural areas in developing regions usually do not have any access to terrestrial communications networks because operators cannot ensure enough revenues to justify the required investments. Therefore, alternative low-cost solutions are needed for both the access network and the backhaul network. In this sense, in order to provide rural 3G
... vide rural 3G coverage in small villages, state-of-the-art approaches propose to use Small Cells in access networks and inexpensive multihop wireless networks based on WiFi for long distances (WiLD) or WiMAX for backhauling them. These technologies provide most of the required capabilities; however, there is no complete knowledge about the performance of WiFi and WiMAX in long-distance links under quality of service constraints. The aim of this work is to provide a detailed overview of the different alternatives for building rural wireless backhaul networks. We compare both IEEE 802.11n and IEEE 802.16 distance-aware analytical models and validate them by extensive simulations and field experiments. Also WiFi-based TDMA proprietary solutions are evaluated experimentally and compared. Finally, results are used to model a real study case in the Peruvian Amazon in order to illustrate that the performance provided by these technologies may be sufficient for the backhaul network of a rural 3G access network based on Small Cells.