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Title:
METHODS, APPARATUSES AND COMPUTER-READABLE STORAGE MEDIUMS FOR ALLOCATING BEAM RESOURCES ACCORDING TO NEEDS AND NUMBER OF SERVED CUSTOMER PREMISES EQUIPMENTS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/040057
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A radio access network element configured to provide wireless resources via a plurality of wireless beams to serve customer premises equipments in a service area of a wireless network. The radio access network element includes at least one processor configured to execute computer-readable instructions to: compute a first amount of wireless resources to be allocated to a first of the plurality of wireless beams based on a total amount of wireless resources available across the plurality of wireless beams within the service area and individual wireless resource needs of the first of the plurality of wireless beams; and allocate the first amount of wireless resources to the first of the plurality of wireless beams.

Inventors:
RUDRAPATNA, Ashok N. (600-700 Mountain Avenue 3B-224, Murray New Jersey, 07974-0636, US)
Application Number:
US2017/048180
Publication Date:
February 28, 2019
Filing Date:
August 23, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
NOKIA TECHNOLOGIES OY (Karaportti 3, Espoo, Espoo, FI)
NOKIA USA INC. (200 South Mathilda Ave, Sunnyvale, California, 94086, US)
International Classes:
H01Q25/00
Foreign References:
US20060067269A12006-03-30
US20110134876A12011-06-09
US20070171864A12007-07-26
US20130136029A12013-05-30
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
YACURA, Gary D. et al. (Harness, Dickey & Pierce P.L.C.11730 Plaza America Drive,Suite 60, Reston Virginia, 20190, US)
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Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A radio access network element providing wireless resources via a plurality of wireless beams to serve customer premises equipments in a service area of a wireless network, the radio access network element comprising:

a memory storing computer-readable instructions; and

at least one processor configured to execute the computer-readable instructions to

compute a first amount of wireless resources to be allocated to a first of the plurality of wireless beams based on (i) a total amount of wireless resources available across the plurality of wireless beams within the service area and (ii) individual wireless resource needs of the first of the plurality of wireless beams, and

allocate the first amount of wireless resources to the first of the plurality of wireless beams.

2. The radio access network element of claim 1, wherein the individual wireless resource needs of the first of the plurality of wireless beams is a fraction of total wireless resource needs of the plurality of wireless beams, which is attributable to the first of the plurality of wireless beams.

3. The radio access network element of claim 1, wherein the at least one processor is further configured to execute the computer-readable

instructions to

compute a fraction of the total amount of wireless resources to be allocated to the first of the plurality of wireless beams based on the individual wireless resource needs of the first of the plurality of wireless beams; and

compute the first amount of wireless resources based on the total amount of wireless resources available across the plurality of wireless beams and the fraction of the total amount of wireless resources to be allocated to the first of the plurality of wireless beams.

4. The radio access network element of claim 1, wherein the at least one processor is further configured to execute the computer-readable

instructions to

compute a fraction of total wireless resource needs across the plurality of wireless beams, which is attributable to the first of the plurality of wireless beams, based on the individual wireless resource needs of the first of the plurality of wireless beams and the total wireless resource needs across the plurality of wireless beams; and

compute the first amount of wireless resources based on the total amount of wireless resources available across the plurality of wireless beams and the fraction of the total wireless resource needs across the plurality of wireless beams.

5. The radio access network element of claim 1, wherein the at least one processor is further configured to execute the computer-readable

instructions to allocate the first amount of wireless resources dynamically.

6. The radio access network element of claim 1, wherein the radio access network element includes at least one of a base station, a centralized radio access network (CRAN), an eNB, a Radio Resource Head (RRH), a gNB or a fern to cell.

7. The radio access network element of claim 1, wherein the at least one processor is further configured to execute the computer-readable

instructions to

compute the individual wireless resource needs of the first of the plurality of wireless beams by aggregating demand across customer premises equipments served by the first of the plurality of wireless beams as weighted by at least one of Quality of Service (QoS) or scheduling priority factors.

8. The radio access network element of claim 1, wherein allocation of the first amount of wireless resources to the first of the plurality of wireless beams is proportional to a demand on the first of the plurality of wireless beams.

9. A radio access network element providing wireless resources via a plurality of wireless beams to serve customer premises equipments in a service area of a wireless network, the radio access network element comprising:

a memory storing computer-readable instructions; and

at least one processor configured to execute the computer-readable instructions to

allocate a first amount of wireless resources to a first of the plurality of wireless beams based on first wireless resource needs of first customer premises equipments served by the first of the plurality of wireless beams, and

allocate a second amount of wireless resources to a second of the plurality of wireless beams based on second wireless resource needs of second customer premises equipments served by the second of the plurality of wireless beams, the second amount of wireless resources different from the first amount of wireless resources.

10. The radio access network element of claim 9, wherein the at least one processor is further configured to execute the computer-readable

instructions to

compute the first amount of wireless resources based on a total amount of wireless resources available across the plurality of wireless beams within the service area and the first wireless resource needs of the first customer premises equipments served by the first of the plurality of wireless beams.

11. The radio access network element of claim 10, wherein the first wireless resource needs of the first customer premises equipments served by the first of the plurality of wireless beams is a fraction of total wireless resource needs of the service area, which are attributed to the first customer premises equipments served by the first of the plurality of wireless beams.

12. The radio access network element of claim 10, wherein the at least one processor is further configured to execute the computer-readable instructions to compute a fraction of the total amount of wireless resources to be allocated to the first of the plurality of wireless beams based on the first wireless resource needs of the first customer premises equipments served by the first of the plurality of wireless beams; and

compute the first amount of wireless resources based on the total amount of wireless resources available across the plurality of wireless beams and the fraction of the total amount of wireless resources to be allocated to the first of the plurality of wireless beams.

13. The radio access network element of claim 10, wherein the at least one processor is further configured to execute the computer-readable instructions to

compute a fraction of total wireless resource needs across the plurality of wireless beams, which are attributable to the first customer premises equipments served by the first of the plurality of wireless beams, based on the first wireless resource needs for the first customer premises equipments served by the first of the plurality of wireless beams and the total wireless resource needs across the plurality of wireless beams; and compute the first amount of wireless resources based on the total amount of wireless resources available across the plurality of wireless beams and the fraction of the total wireless resource needs across the plurality of wireless beams, which are attributable to the first customer premises equipments served by the first of the plurality of wireless beams.

14. The radio access network element of claim 9, wherein the at least one processor is further configured to execute computer-readable instructions to allocate the first amount of wireless resources and the second amount of wireless resources dynamically.

15. The radio access network element of claim 9, wherein the radio access network element includes at least one of a base station, a centralized radio access network (CRAN), an eNB, a Radio Resource Head (RRH), a gNB or a femto cell.

16. A method for allocating wireless resources via a plurality of wireless beams to serve customer premises equipments in a service area of a wireless network, the method comprising:

computing a first amount of wireless resources to be allocated to a first of the plurality of wireless beams based on (i) a total amount of wireless resources available across the plurality of wireless beams within the service area and (ii) individual wireless resource needs of the first of the plurality of wireless beams; and

allocating the first amount of wireless resources to the first of the plurality of wireless beams.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein the individual wireless resource needs of the first of the plurality of wireless beams is a fraction of total wireless resource needs of the plurality of wireless beams, which is attributable to the first of the plurality of wireless beams.

18. The method of claim 16, wherein the computing step comprises: computing a fraction of the total amount of wireless resources to be allocated to the first of the plurality of wireless beams based on the individual wireless resource needs of the first of the plurality of wireless beams; and

computing the first amount of wireless resources based on the total amount of wireless resources available across the plurality of wireless beams and the fraction of the total amount of wireless resources to be allocated to the first of the plurality of wireless beams.

19. The method of claim 16, wherein the computing step comprises:

computing a fraction of total wireless resource needs across the plurality of wireless beams, which is attributable to the first of the plurality of wireless beams, based on the individual wireless resource needs of the first of the plurality of wireless beams and the total wireless resource needs across the plurality of wireless beams; and

computing the first amount of wireless resources based on the total amount of wireless resources available across the plurality of wireless beams and the fraction of the total wireless resource needs across the plurality of wireless beams.

20. The method of claim 16, wherein the computing step further comprises: computing the individual wireless resource needs of the first of the plurality of wireless beams by aggregating demand across customer premises equipments served by the first of the plurality of wireless beams as weighted by at least one of Quality of Service (QoS) or scheduling priority factors.

Description:
METHODS, APPARATUSES AND COMPUTER- READABLE STORAGE MEDIUMS FOR ALLOCATING BEAM RESOURCES ACCORDING TO NEEDS AND NUMBER OF SERVED CUSTOMER PREMISES EQUIPMENTS

BACKGROUND

Field

[0001] One or more example embodiments relate to methods, apparatuses and/or computer-readable storage mediums for allocating wireless beam resources according to a number of served customer premises equipments within a service area.

Discussion of Related Art

[0002] Modern wireless systems for both mobile and fixed user services employ wireless beam technology. Within a service area, such as a sector of coverage of such a wireless system, one or more wireless beams are employed to serve users. Conventionally, the wireless beams within a service area are activated one at a time with equal duration and equal resource allocation.

SUMMARY

[0003] In a fixed wireless beam approach, a service area (e.g., a sector) is divided into a number of approximately equal sized (e.g., beam width) fixed beams. Each beam is given an equal duration and all wireless resources are directed to that one active beam at a given time to serve only customer premises equipments (CPEs) who can be served by the one active beam. However, the number of CPEs and/or the amount of wireless resources required across CPEs within each beam may be (and typically is) unequal. As a result, the users and their needs are not served fairly on the basis of need. One example scenario in which uneven distribution of CPEs occurs is a fixed wireless application in which wireless base stations are mounted on lampposts illuminating homes and businesses within the wireless base station's coverage area. In such cases, beams that point across the street may encompass fewer homes (and, thus, fewer CPEs) than beams that point side-ways along the streets.

[0004] One or more example embodiments provide methods, apparatuses and computer readable storage mediums in which an amount of resources allocated to a beam is proportional to the needs of the beam at a given time, and may be different from other beams in the service area. According to at least one example embodiment, the amount of wireless resources allocated to a beam may be a function of the amount of wireless resources such as time, frequency, spatial domain, power, or the like, allocated to the beam. The total needs of CPEs served by a given beam may be a function of the number of CPEs, an amount of data (e.g., per CPE and in aggregate) taking into account different quality of service (QoS), scheduling priority factors, and the like.

[0005] At least one example embodiment provides a radio access network element providing wireless resources via a plurality of wireless beams to serve customer premises equipments in a service area of a wireless network. The radio access network element includes: a memory storing computer- readable instructions; and at least one processor. The at least one processor is configured to execute the computer-readable instructions to: compute a first amount of wireless resources to be allocated to a first of the plurality of wireless beams based on a total amount of wireless resources available across the plurality of wireless beams within the service area and individual wireless resource needs of the first of the plurality of wireless beams; and allocate the first amount of wireless resources to the first of the plurality of wireless beams.

[0006] At least one other example embodiment provides a radio access network element providing wireless resources via a plurality of wireless beams to serve customer premises equipments in a service area of a wireless network. The radio access network element includes: a memory storing computer-readable instructions; and at least one processor. The at least one processor is configured to execute the computer-readable instructions to: allocate a first amount of wireless resources to a first of the plurality of wireless beams based on first wireless resource needs of first customer premises equipments served by the first of the plurality of wireless beams; and allocate a second amount of wireless resources to a second of the plurality of wireless beams based on second wireless resource needs of second customer premises equipments served by the second of the plurality of wireless beams, the second amount of wireless resources different from the first amount of wireless resources.

[0007] At least one other example embodiment provides a method for allocating wireless resources via a plurality of wireless beams to serve customer premises equipments in a service area of a wireless network, the method comprising: computing a first amount of wireless resources to be allocated to a first of the plurality of wireless beams based on a total amount of wireless resources available across the plurality of wireless beams within the service area and individual wireless resource needs of the first of the plurality of wireless beams; and allocating the first amount of wireless resources to the first of the plurality of wireless beams.

[0008] At least one other example embodiment provides a method for allocating wireless resources via a plurality of wireless beams to serve customer premises equipments in a service area of a wireless network, the method comprising: allocating a first amount of wireless resources to a first of a plurality of wireless beams based on first wireless resource needs of first customer premises equipments served by the first of the plurality of wireless beams; and allocating a second amount of wireless resources to a second of the plurality of wireless beams based on second wireless resource needs of second customer premises equipments served by the second of the plurality of wireless beams, the second amount of wireless resources different from the first amount of wireless resources.

[0009] Example embodiments discussed herein may be applicable to the uplink (from CPE to radio access network element) and/or the downlink (from radio access network element to CPE)

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] Example embodiments will become more fully understood from the detailed description given herein below and the accompanying drawings, wherein like elements are represented by like reference numerals, which are given by way of illustration only and thus are not limiting of this disclosure.

[0011] FIG. 1 illustrates a simple network architecture diagram for explaining example embodiments.

[0012] FIG. 2A illustrates an example embodiment of a base station; [0013] FIG. 2B illustrates an example embodiment of a customer premises equipment (CPE);

[0014] FIG. 3 is a flow chart illustrating a method for allocating resources according to an example embodiment.

[0015] It should be noted that these figures are intended to illustrate the general characteristics of methods, structure and/or materials utilized in certain example embodiments and to supplement the written description provided below. These drawings are not, however, to scale and may not precisely reflect the precise structural or performance characteristics of any given embodiment, and should not be interpreted as defining or limiting the range of values or properties encompassed by example embodiments. The use of similar or identical reference numbers in the various drawings is intended to indicate the presence of a similar or identical element or feature.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0016] Various example embodiments will now be described more fully with reference to the accompanying drawings in which some example embodiments are shown.

[0017] Detailed illustrative embodiments are disclosed herein. However, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are merely representative for purposes of describing example embodiments. The example embodiments may, however, be embodied in many alternate forms and should not be construed as limited to only the embodiments set forth herein.

[0018] Accordingly, while example embodiments are capable of various modifications and alternative forms, the embodiments are shown by way of example in the drawings and will be described herein in detail. It should be understood, however, that there is no intent to limit example embodiments to the particular forms disclosed. On the contrary, example embodiments are to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the scope of this disclosure. Like numbers refer to like elements throughout the description of the figures.

[0019] While one or more example embodiments will be described from the perspective of a customer premises equipment (CPE), base stations, cloud or centralized radio access networks (CRANs), etc., it will be understood that one or more example embodiments discussed herein may be performed by the one or more processors (or processing circuitry) at the applicable apparatus or device.

[0020] FIG. 1 illustrates a simple network architecture diagram for explaining example embodiments.

[0021] Referring to FIG. 1 , the base station 1 15 communicates (bi or uni- directionally) with a CPE 105 over a wireless link via one (e.g. , the i-th) of a plurality of wireless beams 130 in a service area. As discussed herein, a service area may refer to a sector, radio coverage area within a cell, radio coverage area provided by a cluster of cell sites in a network multiple-input- multiple-output (MIMO) context, or the like. The plurality of wireless beams 130 refer to those wireless beams whose wireless resources can be shared and allocated by a scheduler (not shown) at the base station 1 15.

[0022] The base station 1 15 also communicates with the Internet 120 thereby providing communication services between the CPE 105 and the Internet 120.

[0023] Although only a single CPE 105 is shown in FIG. 1 , example embodiments should not be limited to this example. Rather, the base station 115 may provide communication services to a relatively large number of CPEs within the coverage area of the base station 1 15.

[0024] Although not shown in FIG. 1 , in the context of 3 rd Generation Partnership Project Long-Term Evolution (3GPP-LTE), the base station 1 15 may be part of what is referred to as an Evolved Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) Terrestrial Radio Access Network (EUTRAN) within an Internet Protocol (IP) Connectivity Access Network (IP- CAN). The IP- CAN may also include an Evolved Packet Core (EPC). The EPC may include, for example, a serving gateway (SGW), a packet data network (PDN) gateway (PGW), a policy and charging rules function (PCRF), and a mobility management entity (MME).

[0025] Likewise, CPE may involve fixed devices to residences or businesses, they could be for mobile services known as UE (user equipment), mobile, handset, etc. and the like.

[0026] Example embodiments may also apply to 5 th Generation (5G) networks. In this case, the base station 1 15 may be referred to as gNB or new radio (NR), and the core network may be what is referred to as the new core (NC). [0027] Although not shown in FIG. 1 , the Internet 120 may include one or more IP Packet Data Networks (IP-PDNs), which may include application and/ or proxy servers, media servers, email servers, and the like.

[0028] Although discussed herein with regard to the base station 1 15, example embodiments are also applicable to a CRAN that communicates (bi or uni-directionally) with CPEs over wireless links via one of several wireless beams, and with the Internet thereby providing communication services between CPEs and the Internet. Similarly, example embodiments may also be applicable to eNodeBs (eNBs), gNBs, Radio Resource Heads (RRHs), a femto base stations (or cells), and the like. As discussed herein, a base station, a CRAN, an eNB, a gNB, a RRH and a femto base station (or cell) may collectively be referred to as a radio access network (RAN) element. In this regard, a RAN element may include at least one of a CRAN, an eNodeB (eNB), a gNB, a Radio Resource Head (RRH), a femto base station (or cell).

[0029] A CPE 105 may refer to a terminal and associated equipment located at a subscriber's premises and connected with a carrier's (e.g., wireless carrier's) telecommunication channel at a demarcation point. CPE generally refers to devices such as user equipments (UEs), routers, switches, residential gateways (RGs), set- top boxes, fixed mobile convergence products, home networking adapters and Internet access gateways that enable consumers to access communications service providers' services and distribute them around their house via a local area network (LAN).

[0030] FIG. 2A illustrates an example embodiment of the base station 1 15 shown in FIG. 1. As shown, the base station 1 15 includes: a memory 240; a processor 220 connected to the memory 240; various interfaces 260 connected to the processor 220; and an antenna 265 connected to the various interfaces 260. The various interfaces 260 and the antenna 265 may constitute a transceiver for transmitting/ receiving data from/to the base station 1 15 via the plurality of wireless beams 130. As will be appreciated, depending on the implementation of the base station 1 15, the base station 1 15 may include many more components than those shown in FIG. 2A. However, it is not necessary that all of these generally conventional components be shown in order to disclose the illustrative example embodiment. [0031] The memory 240 may be a computer readable storage medium that generally includes a random access memory (RAM), read only memory (ROM), and/or a permanent mass storage device, such as a disk drive. The memory 240 also stores an operating system and any other routines/modules/applications for providing the functionalities of the base station 1 15 (e.g., functionalities of a base station, methods according to the example embodiments, etc.) to be executed by the processor 220. These software components may also be loaded from a separate computer readable storage medium into the memory 240 using a drive mechanism (not shown). Such separate computer readable storage medium may include a disc, tape, DVD/ CD-ROM drive, memory card, or other like computer readable storage medium (not shown). In some example embodiments, software components may be loaded into the memory 240 via one of the various interfaces 260, rather than via a computer readable storage medium.

[0032] The processor 220 may be configured to carry out instructions of a computer program by performing the arithmetical, logical, and input/output operations of the system. Instructions may be provided to the processor 220 by the memory 240.

[0033] The various interfaces 260 may include components that interface the processor 220 with the antenna 265, or other input/output components. As will be understood, the interfaces 260 and programs stored in the memory 240 to set forth the special purpose functionalities of the base station 1 15 will vary depending on the implementation of the base station 1 15.

[0034] FIG. 2B illustrates an example of the CPE 105 shown in FIG. 1.

[0035] Referring to FIG. 2B, the CPE 105 includes: a memory 270; a processor 250 connected to the memory 270; various interfaces 290 connected to the processor 250; and an antenna 295 connected to the various interfaces 290. The various interfaces 290 and the antenna 295 may constitute a transceiver for transmitting/receiving data from/to the CPE 105 via, for example, the i-th beam. As will be appreciated, depending on the implementation of the CPE 105, the CPE 105 may include many more components than those shown in FIG. 2B. However, it is not necessary that all of these generally conventional components be shown in order to disclose the illustrative example embodiment. [0036] The memory 270 may be a computer readable storage medium that generally includes a random access memory (RAM), read only memory (ROM), and/or a permanent mass storage device, such as a disk drive. The memory 270 also stores an operating system and any other routines/modules/applications for providing the functionalities of the CPE 105 to be executed by the processor 250. These software components may also be loaded from a separate computer readable storage medium into the memory 270 using a drive mechanism (not shown). Such separate computer readable storage medium may include a disc, tape, DVD/ CD-ROM drive, memory card, or other like computer readable storage medium (not shown). In some embodiments, software components may be loaded into the memory 270 via one of the various interfaces 290, rather than via a computer readable storage medium.

[0037] The processor 250 may be configured to carry out instructions of a computer program by performing the arithmetical, logical, and input/output operations of the system. Instructions may be provided to the processor 250 by the memory 270.

[0038] The various interfaces 290 may include components that interface the processor 250 with the antenna 295, or other input/output components. As will be understood, the interfaces 290 and programs stored in the memory 270 to set forth the special purpose functionalities of the CPE 105 will vary depending on the implementation of the CPE 105.

[0039] FIG. 3 is a flow chart illustrating a method of allocating wireless resources to wireless beams in a service area according to an example embodiment. For example purposes, the method shown in FIG. 3 will be described with regard to FIG. 1. However, example embodiments should not be limited to this example. Rather, as mentioned above, the example embodiment shown in FIG. 3 may also be applicable to a CRAN.

[0040] In describing the method shown in FIG. 3, it is assumed that the base station 1 15 communicates with the CPE 105 over a wireless link via the i-th beam among the plurality of wireless beams 130 in the service area. It is further assumed that the i-th beam serves K number of CPEs, which transmit J different data types. In this example, K is a relatively large number of CPEs, and J may be 1 , 2, 3 or more data types.

[0041] Referring to FIG. 3, at step S302 the base station 1 15 determines the total wireless resource (or traffic) needs B_N_i(t) of the i-th wireless beam at time ί (also referred to herein as wireless resource needs of CPEs served by the i-th wireless beam) . In one example, the base station 1 15 determines the total wireless resource needs of the i-th beam by aggregating the then prevailing CPE demand across the K CPEs served by the i-th beam as weighted by Quality of Service (QoS) and scheduling priority factors. According to at least one example embodiment, the total wireless resource needs B_N_i(t) of the i-th beam may be given by Equation [1] shown below.

B_N_ =∑ k , j {u_k_d_j (t) * W_k(t) * qj(t)) [1]

[0042] In Equation [1], u_k_d J(t) is the k-th CPE's (among the K CPEs) quantity of data type j (among the J data types) associated with QoS weighting q_J for that data type and scheduler weight, W_k(t) for the k-th CPE at time i. The summation∑kj is over all K CPEs and J data types for the i-th wireless beam at time t. The scheduler weight W_k(t) is determined by the scheduler (not shown) at the base station 1 15, which takes into account factors such as channel quality for the k-th CPE at time i, etc. Each of u_k_d _j(t), W_k(t), and q_J(t) in Equation [1], as a function of time, are known at the base station 1 15 for both the downlink (DL) and the uplink (UL). For the downlink, these parameters are available to the base station 1 15 at the input buffer for the traffic that has been received for delivery to CPEs from the network. For the uplink, the CPE requests a grant for uplink transmission. Along with the request, the CPE provides a buffer status indicating to the base station how much and what type of data is to be transmitted. Thus, also for the uplink the base station 1 15 knows u_k_d J(t) and qj(t).

[0043] Returning to FIG. 3, at step S304 the base station 1 15 determines the fraction B_N_F_i(t) of the total wireless resource needs, which are attributable to the i-th wireless beam from among the plurality of wireless beams 130.

[0044] According to at least one example embodiment, the fraction B_N_F_i(t) of the total wireless resource needs of the plurality of wireless beams 130, which are attributed to the i-th wireless beam at time t (B_N_F_i (t)), may be given by Equation [2] shown below. [2]

[0045] In Equation [2], B_N_i(t) are the total wireless resource needs of the i-th wireless beam (determined at step S302), and ∑i(B_N_i(t)) is the summation of the total wireless resource needs across all of the plurality of wireless beams 130. According to at least some example embodiments, the summation may be across all beams of a sector, across an entire cell, or a cluster of cell sites in a network multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) context, wherein the wireless resources (e.g., time, frequency, spatial, power, etc.) may be shared. Although example embodiments are discussed with regard to proportionality, example embodiments should not be limited to this example.

[0046] At step S306, the base station 1 15 determines the total wireless resources available Total_Res_All_Beams across all of the plurality of wireless beams 130. According to at least one example embodiment, the total wireless resources Total_Res_All_Beams available across all of the plurality of wireless beams may be the total time, frequency, spatial and/or power resources available across all of the plurality of wireless beams 130 in the service area. If the service area is a sector, a cell site or cluster of cell sites, then the total time, frequency, spatial and/or power resources is known at the base station 1 15.

[0047] At step S308, the base station 1 15 determines the fraction B_S_F_i(t) of the total wireless resources, which is to be allocated to the i-th wireless beam at time t. In one example, the fraction B_S_F_i(t) is the fraction of time, frequency, spatial and/ or power resources to be allocated to the i-th wireless beam at time i.

[0048] In one example, the fraction B_S_F_i(t) of time, frequency, spatial and power resources allocated to the i-th wireless beam at time ί may be set equal to the fraction B_N_F_i(t) of the total wireless resource needs, which is attributed to the i-th wireless beam at time t, as determined at step S304 (i.e., B_S_F_i(t) = B_N_F_i(t)).

[0049] In another example, the fraction B_S_F_i(t) of the total wireless resources, which is to be allocated to the i-th wireless beam, may be proportional to the fraction B_N_F_i(t) of the total wireless resource needs, which is attributed to the i-th wireless beam at time i, as determined at step S304. The proportionality may account for actual resources available at time t, which may be less than the total resources available due to certain amount of base station resources set aside for overhead channels, or for other services such as broadcast services.

[0050] Still referring to FIG. 3, at step S310, the base station 1 15 computes the amount of wireless resources to be allocated to the i-th wireless beam at time ί based on the total wireless resources Total_Res_All_Beams available across the plurality of wireless beams (determined at step S306) and the fraction B_S_F_i(t) of the total wireless resources to be allocated to the i-th wireless beam at time ί (determined at step S308). In at least one example embodiment, the base station 1 15 computes the amount of wireless resources B_S_i(t) to be allocated to the i-th wireless beam at time ί as shown below in Equation [3].

B_S_i(t) = B_S_F_i(t) * Total_Res_Al Beams [3]

[0051] In Equation [3], Total_Res_All_Beams is the total available resources across the plurality of wireless beams computed at step S306, and B_S_F_i(t) is the fraction of the total wireless resources to be allocated to the i-th wireless beam at time ί as determined at step S308.

[0052] As discussed above, in one example, the fraction B_S_F_i(t) of wireless resources to be allocated to the i-th wireless beam at time ί may be set equal to the fraction B_N_F_i(t) of the total wireless resource needs of the plurality of wireless beams 130, which is attributed to the i-th beam at time i, as determined at step S304 (i.e., B_S_F_i(t) = B_N_F_i(t)). In this example, the amount of wireless resources B_S_i(t) to be allocated to the i-th wireless beam at time ί may be determined based on the total wireless resources Total_Res_All_Beams available across the plurality of wireless beams 130 computed at step S306 and the fraction B_N_F_i(t) of the total wireless resource needs of the plurality of wireless beams 130, which is attributed to the i-th wireless beam at time i, as determined at step S304, as shown below in Equation [4].

B_S_i(t) = B_S_F_i(t) * Total_Res_AlLBeams = B_N_F_i(t) * Total _Res_AlLB earns [4] [0053] According to at least one example embodiment, the wireless resources allocated to the i-th wireless beam by the base station 1 15 are equal to the combined time, frequency, spatial and/or power resources allocated to the i-th wireless beam. For example, if the wireless resources include time, frequency and spatial resources, then the wireless resources allocated to the i-th wireless beam is equal to the sum of the chunks of time, frequency, and spatial resources allocated to the i-th wireless beam. Thus, in this example, the i-th wireless beam's resource supply B_S_i(t) is given by Equation [5] shown below. _S_i(t) = * Fi * S_i(t) = B_S_F_i(t) * Total_Res_AlLBeams

= B_N_F_i(t) * Total_Res_Al Beams [5]

[0054] In Equation [5] . 7} is the amount of time resources allocated to the i-th wireless beam at time i, Fi is the amount of frequency resources allocated to the i-th beam at time i, and S; is the amount of spatial resources allocated to the i-th beam at time i. The summation ∑TFS (Ti*Fi*Si (t)) is the sum of the product of the time resources 7}, the frequency resources Fi and the spatial resources S over all chunks of time, frequency and space. Thus, in this example, the summation ∑TFS represents the sum of the chunks of time, frequency, and spatial resources allocated to the i-th wireless beam at time t.

[0055] Although discussed herein with regard to time, frequency and spatial resources, example embodiments should not be limited to this example. Rather, the wireless resources need not encompass all dimensions of time, frequency and space. Rather, the wireless resources may encompass (e.g. , be in) only one or two dimensions (e.g., time only, frequency only, time and frequency only, etc.).

[0056] If only the time dimension is allocated this implies that the beam, when activated, does not share frequency or spatial resources with any other beam. That is, for example, the activated beam is allocated full use of all frequency and spatial resources for that fraction of time. If only the frequency dimension is allocated, then the activated beam has access to the allocated fraction of frequency exclusively without sharing with any other beam for all time and space. [0057] Returning to FIG. 3, at step S312, the base station 1 15 (e.g. , a scheduler) allocates the amount of wireless resources determined at step S310 to the i-th wireless beam. The base station 1 15 may allocate the wireless resources to the i-th beam in any suitable manner. For example, in a 3GPP-LTE system, the base station 1 15 may allocate physical resources blocks (PRBs) to the i-th wireless beam based on the amount of wireless resources determined at step S310. In a more specific 3GPP-LTE example in which the wireless resources include time and frequency, the base station 1 15 may allocate wireless resources to the i-th wireless beam by allocating PRB blocks to the i-th wireless beam according to the amount of wireless resources B_S_i(t) determined at step S310.

[0058] Transmit power (e.g. , in the uplink and/or downlink) is another dimension for resource allocation. For example, in the PRB example, different PRBs allocated to different beams may have different amount of transmit power allocated thereto for matching with the amount of demand served by the beam. Thus, transmit power at any time may be shared.

[0059] The allocation method discussed with regard to FIG. 3 is dynamic as a function of time ί based on the time varying demand for each beam. Accordingly, the method shown in FIG. 3 may be performed periodically and/ or in response to varying network and/or load conditions. The method shown in FIG. 3 may also be performed dynamically and independently for each beam in the service area, and the wireless resources allocated to each of the beams may be the same or different. Further, according to at least some example embodiments, the wireless resources allocated to a given beam may be different for the downlink (from base station to CPE) and the uplink (from CPE to base station). In this regard, for example, the method shown in FIG. 3 may be performed periodically and independently for each of the uplink and downlink.

[0060] Although the terms first, second, etc. may be used herein to describe various elements, these elements should not be limited by these terms. These terms are only used to distinguish one element from another. For example, a first element could be termed a second element, and similarly, a second element could be termed a first element, without departing from the scope of this disclosure. As used herein, the term "and/or," includes any and all combinations of one or more of the associated listed items. [0061] When an element is referred to as being "connected," or "coupled," to another element, it can be directly connected or coupled to the other element or intervening elements may be present. By contrast, when an element is referred to as being "directly connected," or "directly coupled," to another element, there are no intervening elements present. Other words used to describe the relationship between elements should be interpreted in a like fashion (e.g., "between," versus "directly between," "adjacent," versus "directly adjacent," etc.).

[0062] The terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting. As used herein, the singular forms "a," "an," and "the," are intended to include the plural forms as well, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. It will be further understood that the terms "comprises," "comprising," "includes," and/ or "including," when used herein, specify the presence of stated features, integers, steps, operations, elements, and/or components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps, operations, elements, components, and / or groups thereof.

[0063] It should also be noted that in some alternative implementations, the functions/ acts noted may occur out of the order noted in the figures. For example, two figures shown in succession may in fact be executed substantially concurrently or may sometimes be executed in the reverse order, depending upon the functionality / acts involved.

[0064] Specific details are provided in the following description to provide a thorough understanding of example embodiments. However, it will be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art that example embodiments may be practiced without these specific details. For example, systems may be shown in block diagrams so as not to obscure the example embodiments in unnecessary detail. In other instances, well-known processes, structures and techniques may be shown without unnecessary detail in order to avoid obscuring example embodiments.

[0065] As discussed herein, illustrative embodiments will be described with reference to acts and symbolic representations of operations (e.g., in the form of flow charts, flow diagrams, data flow diagrams, structure diagrams, block diagrams, etc.) that may be implemented as program modules or functional processes include routines, programs, objects, components, data structures, etc., that perform particular tasks or implement particular abstract data types and may be implemented using existing hardware at, for example, existing users, user equipments, CPEs, gateways, base stations, CRANs, eNBs, RRHs, gNBs, femto base stations, nodes, network controllers, computers, and the like. As discussed later, such existing hardware may include, inter alia, one or more Central Processing Units (CPUs), system-on- chip (SOC) devices, digital signal processors (DSPs), application- specific- integrated-circuits, field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) computers or the like.

[0066] Although a flow chart may describe the operations as a sequential process, many of the operations may be performed in parallel, concurrently or simultaneously. In addition, the order of the operations may be rearranged. A process may be terminated when its operations are completed, but may also have additional steps not included in the figure. A process may correspond to a method, function, procedure, subroutine, subprogram, etc. When a process corresponds to a function, its termination may correspond to a return of the function to the calling function or the main function.

[0067] As disclosed herein, the term "storage medium", "computer readable storage medium" or "non-transitory computer readable storage medium" may represent one or more devices for storing data, including read only memory (ROM), random access memory (RAM), magnetic RAM, core memory, magnetic disk storage mediums, optical storage mediums, flash memory devices and/or other tangible machine readable mediums for storing information. The term "computer-readable medium" may include, but is not limited to, portable or fixed storage devices, optical storage devices, and various other mediums capable of storing, containing or carrying instruction(s) and / or data.

[0068] Furthermore, example embodiments may be implemented by hardware, software, firmware, middleware, microcode, hardware description languages, or any combination thereof. When implemented in software, firmware, middleware or microcode, the program code or code segments to perform the necessary tasks may be stored in a machine or computer readable medium such as a computer readable storage medium. When implemented in software, a processor or processors will perform the necessary tasks. [0069] A code segment may represent a procedure, function, subprogram, program, routine, subroutine, module, software package, class, or any combination of instructions, data structures or program statements. A code segment may be coupled to another code segment or a hardware circuit by passing and/or receiving information, data, arguments, parameters or memory contents. Information, arguments, parameters, data, etc. may be passed, forwarded, or transmitted via any suitable means including memory sharing, message passing, token passing, network transmission, etc.

[0070] The terms "including" and/or "having", as used herein, are defined as comprising (i.e., open language). The term "coupled", as used herein, is defined as connected, although not necessarily directly, and not necessarily mechanically. Terminology derived from the word "indicating" (e.g. , "indicates" and "indication") is intended to encompass all the various techniques available for communicating or referencing the object/ information being indicated. Some, but not all, examples of techniques available for communicating or referencing the object/ information being indicated include the conveyance of the object/ information being indicated, the conveyance of an identifier of the object/ information being indicated, the conveyance of information used to generate the object/ information being indicated, the conveyance of some part or portion of the object/ information being indicated, the conveyance of some derivation of the object/ information being indicated, and the conveyance of some symbol representing the object/information being indicated.

[0071] According to example embodiments, users, user equipments, CPEs, gateways, base stations, CRANs, eNBs, RRHs, gNBs, femto base stations, nodes, network controllers, computers, and the like, may be (or include) hardware, firmware, hardware executing software or any combination thereof. Such hardware may include one or more Central Processing Units (CPUs) , system-on-chip (SOC) devices, digital signal processors (DSPs), application-specific-integrated-circuits (ASICs), field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) computers or the like configured as special purpose machines to perform the functions described herein as well as any other well-known functions of these elements. In at least some cases, CPUs, SOCs, DSPs, ASICs and FPGAs may generally be referred to as processing circuits, processors and/ or microprocessors. [0072] Benefits, other advantages, and solutions to problems have been described above with regard to specific embodiments of the invention. However, the benefits, advantages, solutions to problems, and any element(s) that may cause or result in such benefits, advantages, or solutions, or cause such benefits, advantages, or solutions to become more pronounced are not to be construed as a critical, required, or essential feature or element of any or all the claims.

[0073] Reference is made in detail to embodiments, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals refer to the like elements throughout. In this regard, the example embodiments may have different forms and should not be construed as being limited to the descriptions set forth herein. Accordingly, the example embodiments are merely described below, by referring to the figures, to explain example embodiments of the present description. Aspects of various embodiments are specified in the claims.