Uplink user capacity in a multicell CDMA system with hotspot microcells

Shalinee Kishore, Larry J. Greenstein, H. Vincent Poor, Stuart C. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The number of simultaneous users (or user capacity) supportable on the uplink of a multiple-macrocell code division multiple-access (CDMA) system with multiple "hotspot" microcells embedded within is studied. These microcells operate on the same frequency as the macrocells and are installed in regions of high user demand. It is shown that the user capacity depends on how the users are distributed among cells, and that the maximum (called the attainable capacity) occurs when all cells serve roughly the same number of users. The approach builds on a two-cell analysis published previously, for a single microcell embedded in a single macrocell. First, this analysis is expanded upon to estimate the attainable capacity for M macrocells, where the center one contains L microcells. Then the case in which L microcells are distributed randomly among the M macrocells is analyzed. In each case, the formula for attainable capacity is very simple and highly accurate (as demonstrated via simulations) up to reasonably high values of L. For example, with L microcells distributed among M macrocells, the analysis is accurate at least up to eight microcells per macrocell. The analysis and results are general with respect to cell geometries, propagation parameters, and other variables of the two-tier CDMA system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1638654
Pages (from-to)1333-1342
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Cellular systems
  • Code division multiple access
  • Microcells


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