To alleviate the spectrum scarcity problem in fifth-generation (5G) networks, traditional mobile data offloading schemes from long term evolution (LTE) to wireless local area networks (WLANs) have been revised by the third-generation partnership project (3GPP) in release 13, which is known as LTE-WLAN aggregation (LWA). With LWA, user equipment units (UEs) supporting both LTE and WLAN can utilize both LTE and WLAN links simultaneously. Thus, UEs under the coverage of an LWA network will be surrounded by multiple standards, such as LTE, WLAN, and LWA, along with cells of different sizes and coverage. Providing the LWA service to all UEs unconditionally may lead to serious intra-cell unfairness, degradation of system-level quality of service (QoS), and a reduction in system resource utilization. Hence, to resolve this issue, two important challenges need to be addressed: Which LTE UEs should be transferred, and how many LTE UEs need to be transferred. In this paper, we propose a user-offloading algorithm for evolved node B (eNB) hardware that smartly allocates the deprived LTE UEs and assigns the LWA service to an optimal number of UEs without degrading the QoS for existing WLAN UEs. With this proposed scheme, all LWA-preferred UEs with poor LTE performance and a good WLAN condition have the opportunity to access LWA service to improve performance. We show that the proposed scheme maximizes the throughput performance of the whole network.
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