To effectively increase the capacity in 5G wireless networks requires more spectrum and denser network deployments. However, due to the increasing network density, the coordination of network and spectrum management becomes a challenging task both within a single operator’s network and among multiple operators’ networks. In this article, we develop new radio resource management (RRM) algorithms for adapting the frequency spectrum and the density of active access nodes in 5G ultra-dense networks (UDNs) to the traffic load and the user density in different geographical areas of the network. To this end, we formulate a network optimization problem where the allocation of spectrum bandwidth and the density of active access nodes are optimized to minimize a joint cost function, and we exploit Lagrange duality techniques to develop provably optimal network-scheduling algorithms. In particular, we develop density algorithms for two application scenarios. The first scenario solves the resource management problem for an operator of an ultra-dense network with exclusive access to a pool of frequency resources, while the second scenario applies to the management of the network density of collocated UDNs that belong to multiple operators sharing the same frequency spectrum. Simulation results demonstrate how effectively the algorithms can adapt the allocation of the spectrum allocation and the density of active access nodes over space and time.
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