Muhammad Zeeshan Shakir

University of the West of Scotland, 

United Kingdom

Muhammad Ali Imran

University of Glasgow, 

United Kingdom

David J. Love

Purdue University, USA

Syed Ali Raza Zaidi

University of Leeds, 

United Kingdom

Steering Committee:

Mohamed-Slim Alouini

KAUST, Saudi Arabia

Ali Sadri

Intel Corp., USA

Halim Yanikomeroglu

Carleton University, Canada

Xavier Costa

NEC Labs, Germany


  • BackNets is scheduled to take place in the York Room on the lobby level of the Hilton Toronto
  • For all logistic information visit VTC Fall 2017 website.
  • Workshop agenda is now available here.
  • Paper submission deadline has been extended to 22 May 2017  31 May 2017. 
  • Dr. Aleksandra Checko from MTI Radiocomp, Denmark will present overview and progress of IEEE 1914.1 project. 
  • Dr. Peiying Zhu from Huawei, Canada just confirmed to participate in BackNets - more details to follow. 
  • Prof Halim Yanikomeroglu from Carleton University will talk about a novel Networked flying platform enabled backhaul/fronthaul solution for 5G and beyond. More details will be up here. 
  • Dr. Xavier Costa Perez, Head of 5G Networks R&D Group. NEC Laboratories Europe will speak about EU project 5G Crosshaul.
  • Frank Rayal - a telecom industry strategist from Xona Partners will lead a panel and discuss about the 5G fronthaul and backhaul technologies with Canadian and international industries. More details will be available soon. 
  • Dr. Hayssam Dahrouj from Effat University will talk about usability of Free Space Optics (FSO) for high data rate fronthauling for ultra-dense small cells. More details to follow. 
  • Prof Walid Saad from Wireless@Virginia Tech will talk about fronthauling in smart cities for Internet of Everything. More details to follow. 
  • Paper submission details have been updated:  Follow here
  • 3rd Edition of IEEE BackNets will be organized with IEEE VTC2017-Fall on Sep. 24, 2017, Toronto, Canada. More details to follow. 

Workshop Scope:

Heterogeneous small-cell networks (HetNets) are considered as one of the key architectural enablers to the challenging demands such as high spectral and energy efficiency of 5G mobile networks. Although the small-cell concept has been articulated and studied for many years within the 4G LTE framework, the concept has never found widespread application mainly due to the cost of deployment. In the conventional wireless networks, the cost of the macro-BS has been a dominant factor. The cost of a small-cell BS, on the other hand, is much lower in comparison to that of a macro-BS; but efficient and satisfactory operation of all these densely deployed small cells hinges on a smart, economical and ubiquitous backhaul/fronthaul networks provisioning ultra-low latency (time to reaction over wireless links), high data rate and high reliability. Such backhual and fronthaul networks will guarantee the global information and communication requirements in future smart and resilient cities and solve the ubiquitous connectivityHence, there are considerable market interests on the development of innovative and smart wireless backhaul/fronthaul solutions for ultra-dense small cells deployed in HetNets. 

After success of IEEE BackNets 2015, London, UK and IEEE BackNets 2016, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia the Third edition of Workshop on Next Generation Backhaul/Fronthaul Networks - BackNets 2017 will be organized in conjunction with IEEE 86th Vehicular Technology Conference: VTC2017-Fall 24–27 September 2017, Toronto, CanadaThe 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 ultra-dense small cell deployment in HetNet. Proceedings of BackNets 2017 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 keynote speakers and panelists will examine the technical challenges, review the economic feasibility, and discuss possible paths to research and regulatory solutions for future generation of backhaul/fronthaul communications and networking. 

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
 Emerging 5G technologies for Smart Backhaul/fronthaul solutions
  • Networked flying platform (NFPs such as HAPs/MAPs/LAPs, unmanned balloons and airships, etc.)  enabled backhaul/fronthaul design for ultra-dense and sparsely populated areas
  • Massive MIMO based backhaul/fronthaul for ultra-dense small cell deployment
  • Backhaul/fronthaul relaxation in heterogeneous networks including traffic offloading and data caching
  • 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:         8 May, 2017

31 May 2017 (Firm Extension)

          Acceptance notification:          15 June, 2017

Camera-ready paper: 
26 June, 2017

Workshop Date: 
Sep. 24, 2017

Technical Sponsor:

IEEE BackNets 2017 is technically sponsored by IEEE emerging technical committee on Backhaul/fronthaul Networking and Communications (TCBNC)

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