Title: Improving Cellular Capacity with White Space Offloading
Abstract: With growing data demand and the current dearth of spectrum, mobile operators are looking for new frequency bands to satisfy data-hungry users. One promising avenue of expansion is TV white spaces, which are currently available to secondary users as long as they do not interfere with primary (i.e., incumbent) users. In this work, we explore the benefits of offloading cellular traffic onto TV white spaces. We develop an analytic model and efficient algorithms to assign users to the cellular network or white space channels by considering their channel gains, multi-user interference on white space channels, and the cost of switching between different networks. We perform extensive data-driven simulations in two representative urban scenarios based on publicly available datasets. Our results show that white spaces can increase capacity by 16-62%, depending on the environment, but a comprehensive design of network selection is significant to ensure that maximum capacity gains are realized. Moreover, we show that white spaces provide a significant benefit in serving indoor users where cellular channel conditions are poor. Specifically, our algorithms can offload up to 40% of cellular traffic to white spaces for indoor scenarios.