Device-to-device communication in 5G cellular networks: Challenges, solutions, and future directions

Mohsen Tehrani, Murat Uysal, Halim Yanikomeroglu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a conventional cellular system, devices are not allowed to directly communicate with each other in the licensed cellular bandwidth and all communications take place through the base stations. In this article, we envision a two-tier cellular network that involves a macrocell tier (i.e., BS-to-device communications) and a device tier (i.e., device-to-device communications). Device terminal relaying makes it possible for devices in a network to function as transmission relays for each other and realize a massive ad hoc mesh network. This is obviously a dramatic departure from the conventional cellular architecture and brings unique technical challenges. In such a two-tier cellular system, since the user data is routed through other users¿ devices, security must be maintained for privacy. To ensure minimal impact on the performance of existing macrocell BSs, the two-tier network needs to be designed with smart interference management strategies and appropriate resource allocation schemes. Furthermore, novel pricing models should be designed to tempt devices to participate in this type of communication. Our article provides an overview of these major challenges in two-tier networks and proposes some pricing schemes for different types of device relaying.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6815897
Pages (from-to)86-92
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Communications Magazine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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