Muhammad Zeeshan Shakir

Carleton University, Canada

Muhammad Ali Imran

University of Surrey, United Kingdom

David J. Love

Purdue University, USA

Steering Committee:

Halim Yanikomeroglu

Carleton University, Canada

Mohamed-Slim Alouini

KAUST, Saudi Arabia

Xavier Costa

NEC Labs, Germany

Yinggang Li

Ericsson AB, Sweden

Rahim Tafazolli

5GIC, University of Surrey, UK


  • Download Arne Alping Keynote talk slides here. 
  • Photos of Workshop are uploaded here
  • Workshop venue has been confirmed: Meeting Room 408, Level 4, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. More details here.
  • Earlier version of Workshop program has been posted. 
  • Workshop will be organized on Monday Morning, 23 May 2016 from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm. More details to follow. 
  • A tutorial T09: Back-haul/Front-haul Technologies for Heterogeneous Small Cell Networks will be presented by Muhammad Zeeshan Shakir and Mohamed-Slim Alouini on Monday Afternoon, 23 May 2016, from 14:00 to 17:30. More details to follow. 
  • Ali Sadri (Intel Corp.) and Arne Alping (Ericsson Research) will be presenting Keynote Talks in the workshop. 
  • Horizon 2020 project 5G Crosshaul team will organize a Panel. Xavier Costa (NEC labs) will lead the Panel. More details here:

Workshop Scope:

There are considerable market interests on the development of small cell backhaul/fronthaul solutions that are an evolution of the existing backhaul/fronthaul technologies, i.e. SDH, ATM, MPLS and Ethernet. One of the main considerations the operators are faced with today is how to migrate existing backhaul/fronthaul infrastructure toward adaptive and smart backhauling/fronthauling solutions that optimize their operations jointly with the access network for the next generation of cellular technology. The deployment availability, cross layer convergence, and economics of smart backhauling/fronthauling systems are the most important factors in selecting the appropriate backhaul/fronthaul technologies for multiple networks (Cellular, WiFi, WiMax, WiGig, etc.); variety of cell sizes (macro, micro, pico, femto) and multiple technologies (Visible light communications, D2D, distributed antennas, etc.).

After success of IEEE ICC BackNets 2015, London, UK, the second edition of Workshop on Next Generation Backhaul/Fonthaul Networks BackNets 2016 will be organized in conjunction with IEEE ICC’2016, May 23-27, 2016, Kuala Lumpur. Proceedings of BackNets 2016 will be a collection of outstanding technical research/position and industrial papers covering novel backhaul/fronthaul solutions and recent research results with wide range of technologies within the 5G frameworks. The workshop will examine the technical challenges, review the economic feasibility, and discuss possible paths to regulatory solutions for future generation of backhaul/fronthaul communications and networking. The workshop will provide an opportunity for exchanging ideas and creating new space for innovative game-changing backhaul/fronthaul solutions to the challenging problems of designing smart backhauling/fronthauling for the excessive heterogeneous-types of traffic in heterogeneous 5G networks.

Area/Topics of interest:

The topics of interest for the workshop include, but are not limited to:

Requirements and limitations for backhaul/fronthaul communications and networking (data rate, scalability, latency, cost effectiveness, etc.)

  • Backhaul/fronthaul design and their capabilities for multi-tier ultra-dense heterogeneous small cell networks
  • Hybrid backhaul/fronthaul solutions (wired/wireless, point-to-point (PtP)/Point-to-Multi-Point (PtMP), line-of-sight (LOS)/Non-line-of-sight (NLOS), etc.)
  • PtP wireless backhaul/fronthaul interfaces for high data rate demanding links (LOS communications, multi-hop communications, e.g., FSO/Microwave based communications)
  • Synchronization approaches and latency issues to combat delays introduced in backhaul/fronthaul operations
  • Backhaul/fronthaul design requirements for rural and sparsely populated areas
Smart Backhaul/fronthaul solutions for emerging 5G technologies
  • Massive MIMO based backhaul/fronthaul for ultra-dense small cell deployment
  • Backhaul/fronthaul relaxation in heterogeneous networks including traffic offloading and data caching
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) based backhaul/fronthaul design for ultra-dense and sparsely populated areas
  • Joint design and optimization of radio access and backhaul/fronthaul networks
  • Green backhaul/fronthaul solutions and energy consumption models for new backhaul/fronthaul technologies
  • Software-defined radio/Cognitive radio based backhaul/fronthaul designs
  • Migration to IP based backhaul/fronthaul design for 5G networks 
Spectrum management for Backhaul/fronthaul communications and networking
  • Usability of higher frequency bands for backhaul/fronthaul design (Free Space Optical (FSO)/mm-wave based communications)
  • Scheduling techniques and radio resource management (RRM) in backhaul/fronthaul networks
  • Orchestration of in-band and out-of-band frequency usage for backhaul/fronthaul
  • Fronthaul issues over unlicensed frequency bands (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, 60 GHz (WiGig))
  • Interference management in wireless backhaul/fronthaul networks, e.g., Coordinated Multipoint (CoMP), Cloud Radio Access Networks (CRAN), and Split frame architectures.
Backhaul/fronthaul deployment and spectrum policy issues
  • Backhaul/fronthaul convergence and application driven business models for commercial/regulatory deployments
  • Comparative case studies with legacy backhaul networks
  • Mobile backhaul/fronthaul standards and its implementation
  • Regulatory and policy issues for backhaul/fronthaul communications
  • Backhaul as a Service (BaaS) and self-organised heterogeneous backhaul 
 Important Dates:

Paper submission deadline: 
December 4, 2015

December 18, 2015 (Extended)

Acceptance notification: 
February 21, 2016

Camera-ready paper: 
March 10, 2016

Download CFP: PDF

IEEE ICC BackNets 2016 is technically sponsored by new IEEE Technical sub-committee on Backhaul/fronthaul Networking and Communications (TCBNC)

A tutorial T09: Back-haul/Front-haul Technologies for Heterogeneous Small Cell Networks will be presented by Muhammad Zeeshan Shakir and Mohamed-Slim Alouini in IEEE ICC'2016, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, May 2016. 
Time: Afternoon 14:00 - 17:30, 
Day: Monday 23 May, 2016. 
Visit ICC 2016 website for more details on topics of the tutorial.

5G-Crosshaul project will organize a Panel on 5G Transport Networks: R&D Challenges of Fronthaul/Backhaul Integration. (Details will be posted soon)

Read FEATURE ARTICLES - in IEEE Wireless Communications Magazine, October 2015 Special Issue: