• Long Term Evolution (LTE);
  • intercell interference coordination (ICIC);
  • fractional frequency reuse;
  • soft frequency reuse;
  • energy efficiency;
  • fairness


Intercell interference is the main issue limiting the capacity of modern orthogonal frequency-division multiple access based cellular networks. Recently, extensive research work has been carried out in this field, and intercell interference coordination techniques have been recognized as key enablers of current (and future) cellular technologies. In this article, (i) a comprehensive survey of the most representative contributions is provided together with (ii) a generic methodology to measure their actual merit. The performance of several interference avoidance strategies has been evaluated both from system and user point of view in the context of a Long Term Evolution (LTE)-based network considering not only synthetic cellular scenarios but also realistic deployments. Our literature review indicates that there is a need for adaptive/operator-customizable low-complex intercell interference coordination (ICIC) schemes suitable for realistic LTE deployments. Results obtained by means of a comprehensive set of simulations corroborate and support this premise. In this article, it is shown that simultaneous gains in terms of spectral/energy efficiency and fairness can be achieved through dynamic mechanisms with respect to both classic hard reuse schemes and static ICIC techniques. Besides numerical results, a novel merit assessment methodology based on several weighted performance metrics is proposed. Our findings show that dynamic schemes outperform static techniques by around 20–35% in realistic deployments. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.