Device-to-Device Communications for 5G Networks Utilizing Social Awareness

Gabor Fodor (Ericsson Research)

Device-to-device communication (D2D) in 4G cellular networks is an important technology enabler of national security and public safety as well as vehicular-to-vehicular and vehicular-to-infrastructure communication services [1, 2]. The METIS and METIS-II projects have proposed further developed D2D technology components to meet the requirements imposed by enhanced mobile broadband, ultra-reliable and low latency services as well as massive machine type communications. These technology components include advanced network coding schemes for cellular coverage extension, network assisted multi-hop D2D communication solutions, multi-antenna techniques and employing inband full duplex transmissions [3, 4], as illustrated in Figure 1.



Figure 1: D2D communications within cellular network coverage take advantage of network assistance, while D2D communications out of cellular coverage help to provide connectivity between users in each other’s proximity.

Recently, we started a joint project between Ericsson Research, Wireless@KTH and the Automatic Control Lab of the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm not only to investigate how to better support D2D communications, but also to explore the opportunities it presents in 5G networks [5, 6]. The new project, called Beyond User in the Loop: User in the Service (BUSE), aims to include users – especially of advanced smart mobile devices and D2D capable vehicles – as integral elements of the wireless infrastructure. The key observation is that such advanced wireless devices and vehicles equipped with multiple antennas and relaying capabilities can help to deliver wireless services to peer users and vehicles.

While largely responsible for the increase in traffic loads, D2D capable smart mobile devices, with their increased capabilities in processing-power, memory, multiple wireless interfaces and radios, often equipped with multiple antennas, may simultaneously now also be enlisted to reinforce the network to handle this extra demand. Taking part in the wireless infrastructure and helping to deliver wireless services can be stimulated by mobile network operators. Our current joint research with Tampere University of Technology (TUT) and the University Mediterranea of Reggio Calabria (UMRC) explores how utilizing social awareness can help to create and recognize win-win situations among infrastructure owners, service providers and end-users.

In the BUSE project and in our joint research with TUT and UMRC, we concentrate on introducing a novel layer of social awareness, which empowers the communicating devices to become autonomously deciding entities. Our main objective is thus to explore how the two domains — human social awareness and D2D-enabled proximate connectivity — may interplay to improve the resulting communications performance in terms of better system throughput as well as achieve higher levels of service quality. These attractive improvements, together with the resulting growth in user device energy efficiency, may therefore constitute the much needed incentives for the eventual user adoption of the promising D2D paradigm.

Our supportive system-level performance evaluations suggest that trusted and social-aware direct connectivity – using D2D communications – has the potential to decisively augment network performance and end-user experience. [7].


  1. Mumtaz and J. Rodriguez (Eds.), “Smart Device to Smart Device Communication”, Springer, 2014. ISBN 978-3-319-04963-2
  2. Fodor and S. Sorrentino, “D2D Communications – What Part Will It Play in 5G?”, Ericsson Research blog, July 2014.
  3. Fodor, S. Roger, N. Rajatheva, S. B. Slimane, T. Svensson, P. Popovski, J. M. B. Da Silva, S. Ali, “An Overview of Device-to-Device Communications Technology Components in METIS”, IEEE Access, Vol. 4, pp. 3288 – 3299, June 2016.
  4. Marsch, Ö. Bulakci, I. D. Silva, “Draft Overall 5G RAN Design”, METIS-II Deliverable D2.2, June 2016.
  5. Fodor, V. Ayadurai, M. Ericsson, Y. Selén, M. Prytz, “D2D Communication Pushes the Boundaries of Future Telecom Systems”, September 2016. Ericsson Research blog,
  6. Fodor, BUSE – Beyond User-in-the-Loop: User-in-the-Service,
  7. Ometov, A. Orsino, L. Militano, D. Moltchanov. G. Araniti, E. Olshannikova, G. Fodor, S. Andreev, T. Olsson, A. Iera, J. Torsner, Y. Koucheryavy, T. Mikkonen, “Towards Trusted, Social-Aware D2D Connectivity: Bridging Across Technology and Sociality Realms”, IEEE Wireless Communications, Vol. 3, Issue 4, pp. 103-111, August 2016.