Muhammad Zeeshan Shakir

University of the West of Scotland,        United Kingdom

Muhammad Ali Imran 

University of Glasgow, United Kingdom

Walid Saad 

Virginia Tech, USA

Syed Ali Raza Zaidi 

University of Leeds, United Kingdom

Ekram Hossain 

University of Manitoba, Canada

Hesham ElBakoury 

Huawei, USA

Steering Committee:

Mohamed-Slim Alouini

KAUST, Saudi Arabia

Ali Sadri

Intel Corp., USA

Halim Yanikomeroglu

Carleton University, Canada

Xavier Costa

NEC Labs, Germany


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. 

Technically endorsed by IEEE ComSoc Emerging Technology Initiative Backhaul/Fronthaul Networking and Communication( ETI-BNC), Workshop on Next Generation Backhaul/Fronthaul Networks - BackNets has been organized with the IEEE Flagship conferences since last 3 years. BackNets has been now considered as exclusive venue to accelerate the research and development in this area by providing a platform for both academic and industrial stakeholders to present and discuss innovative backhaul/fronthaul solutions and cutting-edge research and development. BackNets 2018 is expected to provide an opportunity for exchanging new ideas and creating new space for innovative game-changing backhaul solutions in solving the challenging problems of smart backhauling/fronthauling for 5G and beyond 5G (B5G) networks. BackNets 2018 intends to cover wide spectrum of underlying backhaul/fronthaul themes including, but not limited to: 

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, standard 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:  
1 July 2018
14 July 2018 (firm)

Acceptance notification:          15 August 2018

Camera-ready paper: 
15 September 2018

Workshop Date: 
13 December 2018

Technical Sponsor:

IEEE BackNets History: