MatchMaker: An Inter-operator Network Sharing Framework in Unlicensed Bands

Mohammed Hirzallah, Yong Xiao, Marwan Krunz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


In this paper, we consider the scenario in which mobile network operators (MNOs) share network infrastructure for operating 5G new radio (NR) services in unlicensed bands, whereby they reduce their deployment cost and extend their service coverage. Conserving privacy of MNOs' users, maintaining fairness with coexisting technologies such as Wi-Fi, and reducing communication overhead between MNOs are among top challenges limiting the feasibility and success of this sharing paradigm. To resolve above issues, we present MatchMaker, a novel framework for joint network infrastructure and unlicensed spectrum sharing among MNOs. MatchMaker extends the 3GPP's infrastructure sharing architecture, originally introduced for licensed bands, to have privacy-conserving protocols for managing the shared infrastructure. We also propose a novel privacy-conserving algorithm for channel assignment among MNOs. Although achieving an optimal channel assignment for MNOs over unlicensed bands dictates having global knowledge about MNOs' network conditions and their interference zones, our channel assignment algorithm does not require such global knowledge and maximizes the cross-technology fairness for the coexisting systems. We let the manager, controlling the shared infrastructure, estimate potential interference among MNOs and Wi-Fi systems by asking MNOs to propose their preferred channel assignment and monitoring their average contention delay overtime. The manager only accepts/rejects MNOs' proposals and builds contention graph between all colocated devices. Our results show that MatchMaker achieves fairness up to 90% of the optimal alpha-fairness-based channel assignment while still preserving MNOs' privacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2019 16th Annual IEEE International Conference on Sensing, Communication, and Networking, SECON 2019
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
ISBN (Electronic)9781728112077
StatePublished - Jun 2019
Event16th Annual IEEE International Conference on Sensing, Communication, and Networking, SECON 2019 - Boston, United States
Duration: Jun 10 2019Jun 13 2019

Publication series

NameAnnual IEEE Communications Society Conference on Sensor, Mesh and Ad Hoc Communications and Networks workshops
ISSN (Print)2155-5486
ISSN (Electronic)2155-5494


Conference16th Annual IEEE International Conference on Sensing, Communication, and Networking, SECON 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Cross-technology coexistence
  • IEEE 802.11
  • LAA
  • NR-U
  • Wi-Fi
  • cloud-RAN
  • graph coloring evolution
  • network sharing in unlicensed bands
  • v-RAN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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