Cellular Networks with Vehicular Relay Nodes: Capacity, Coverage, and Scalability

Nadav Lavi*, Hanoch Levy, Yuval Shavitt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A new deployment scheme proposes to leverage the on-board connectivity capabilities of vehicles and turn them (while they are parked) to vehicular relay nodes (VeRNs). The use of on-street parked vehicles as relays within the cellular network is compelling as it can reduce the investments of the operators in deploying infrastructure while increasing the coverage and capacity of the network. Thus, overcoming the exponential growth in users' data demand in a more cost-effective manner compared to traditional fixed infrastructure based deployments. Due to the dynamic nature of vehicles, there are challenges in the analysis and operations of this network. This is due to the fact that current analysis methods assume that the infrastructure is fixed. Thus, in this paper, we develop analytical tools to investigate the gain of utilizing VeRNs. We derive closed-form approximation expressions for two types of analysis, relevant for cellular deployments: a user focused analysis and a VeRN focused analysis. These results can be used for planning and operations of the system. Our extensive simulations show the accuracy and flexibility of our analysis scheme, as well as the high potential of VeRNs as a layer in cellular deployments. Furthermore, we demonstrate and investigate a unique scalability property of this deployment scheme.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8758234
Pages (from-to)9074-9087
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • Heterogeneous networks
  • cellular deployments
  • relay nodes
  • vehicular relay nodes


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