Dedicating Cellular Infrastructure for Aerial Users: Advantages and Potential Impact on Ground Users

Lin Chen, Mustafa A. Kishk*, Mohamed Slim Alouini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A new generation of aerial vehicles is hopeful to be the next frontier for the transportation of people and goods, becoming even as important as ground users in the communication systems. To enhance the coverage of aerial users, appropriate adjustments should be made to the existing cellular networks that mainly provide services for ground users by the down-tilted antennas of the terrestrial base stations (BSs). It is promising to up-tilt the antennas of a subset of BSs for serving aerial users through the mainlobe. With this motivation, in this work, we use tools from stochastic geometry to analyze the coverage performance of the adjusted cellular network (consisting of the up-tilted BSs and the down-tilted BSs). Correspondingly, we present exact and approximate expressions of the signal-to-interference ratio (SIR)-based coverage probabilities for users in the sky and on the ground, respectively. Numerical results verify the analysis accuracy and clarify the advantages of up-tilting BS antennas on the communication connectivity of aerial users without the potential adverse impact on the quality of service (QoS) of ground users. Moreover, it is unveiled that there exists an optimal value of the up-tilted/down-tilted BS density ratio for maximizing the coverage probability of the aerial or ground users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2523-2535
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2023


  • aerial transportation
  • cellular networks
  • coverage probability
  • Stochastic geometry
  • up-tilt angle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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