Green Virtualization for Multiple Collaborative Cellular Operators

Muhammad Junaid Farooq, Hakim Ghazzai, Elias Yaacoub, Abdullah Kadri, Mohamed-Slim Alouini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This paper proposes and investigates a green virtualization framework for infrastructure sharing among multiple cellular operators whose networks are powered by a combination of conventional and renewable sources of energy. Under the proposed framework, the virtual network formed by unifying radio access infrastructures of all operators is optimized for minimum energy consumption by deactivating base stations (BSs) with low traffic loads. The users initially associated to those BSs are off-loaded to neighboring active ones. A fairness criterion for collaboration based on roaming prices is introduced to cover the additional energy costs incurred by host operators. The framework also ensures that any collaborating operator is not negatively affected by its participation in the proposed virtualization. A multi-objective linear programming problem is formulated to achieve energy and cost efficiency of the networks' operation by identifying the set of inter-operator roaming prices. For the case when collaboration among all operators is infeasible due to profitability, capacity, or power constraints, an iterative algorithm is proposed to determine the groups of operators that can viably collaborate. Results show significant energy savings using the proposed virtualization as compared to the standalone case. Moreover, collaborative operators exploiting locally generated renewable energy are rewarded more than traditional ones.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-434
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cognitive Communications and Networking
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 5 2017


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