Special Issue on Inter-Tower Communications and Networkas

Call for Papers

IEEE Transactions on Broadcasting

Special Issue on Inter-Tower Communications and Networks

Wireless communications systems constantly evolve to deliver new services and satisfy the users’ new demands. The new applications (e.g., augmented/virtual reality, 4k/8k video content, multi-view/point-cloud., and connected-car) require a considerable increase in transmission capacity. Traditionally, improving the physical layer waveform spectrum efficiency has been the primary driver for improving the link capacity. Nevertheless, the latest channel coding, modulation schemes, resource allocation and multiplexing techniques have achieved near Shannon limit performance. There is little room for further improvement. Consequently, the radio spectrum poses a hard limit for implementing high-capacity use cases. Therefore, a novel architecture arises as an alternative for enabling the implementation of future broadcast and datacast use cases: the interconnection of the transmission towers. A mesh network can be created to connect all broadcast facilities, e.g.,  studio, news-center, remote production, cloud/storage, and broadcast towers.

In current terrestrial broadcast systems, a studio-to-transmitter link (STL) connection is needed for each new Single Frequency Network (SFN) transmitter to transfer data from the broadcast gateway (BG). The required STL connections will grow proportionally as more SFN transmitters are deployed. The current STL solutions relying on fiber links or dedicated microwave links suffer from poor accessibility and high infrastructure and operational costs. New STL solutions that can offer low installation and operational costs are required, such as In-band Distribution Link (IDL), a one-way distribution system that will provide the program feed to SFN towers in the manner of an STL. In particular, in IDL, the backhaul data is sent from the studio or a specific SFN tower to the next transmission tower, sharing the same frequency band with the broadcast content. In addition, a bi-directional extension of IDL can be implemented. Inter-Tower Communications Network (ITCN) proposes full-duplex transmission among SFN transmitters and is also expected to be used for further enhanced data services, including IoT, emergency warning, connected cars, other localized data services, as well as network control & monitoring, interface with broadcast core-network, Internet, WiFi/5G, and other communications infrastructure.

Technically, the successful deployment of IDL/ITCN system depends on resolving many research challenges associated with loopback signal cancellation, transmitter synchronization, co-channel interference mitigation, and network topology/planning. This special issue seeks original high-quality papers on inter-tower communications and networks. Topics of interest include, but not limited to:

·         Architecture, methodology, implementation, and field test of IDL/ITCN communications.

·         Full-duplex communications in inter-tower communication applications.

·         Inter-tower communication network for future broadcast-broadband wireless systems

·         Integrated access and backhaul (IAB) system and related PHY and network technologies.

·         On-channel-repeater (OCR), SFN,  and in-band distribution link (IDL) for inter-tower communications.

·         Resources allocation, broadcastNode, broadcast Internet, signal structure, signaling & control, PHY design/enhancement, non-orthogonal multiplexing, broadcast IoT, and MIMO schemes in IDL/ITCN.

Prospective authors should visit http://bts.ieee.org/publications/ieee-transactions-on-broadcasting/information-for-authors.html for information on paper submission.

Manuscripts should be submitted at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/tbc in the special issue section.

Manuscripts will be peer-reviewed based on the standard IEEE publication process.

Important Dates :

Manuscript submissions due : December 15, 2022          First reviews completed : February 15, 2023

Revised manuscripts due : April 1, 2023                        Final manuscripts due : April 15, 2023


Expected publication date : June 2023