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Performance analysis of decoupled cell association in multi-tier hybrid networks using real blockage environments

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Millimeter wave (mmWave) links have the potential to offer high data rates and capacity needed in fifth generation (5G) networks, however they have very high penetration and path loss. A solution to this problem is to bring the base station closer to the end-user through heterogeneous networks (HetNets). HetNets could be designed to allow users to connect to different base stations (BSs) in the uplink and downlink. This phenomenon is known as downlink-uplink decoupling (DUDe). This paper explores the effect of DUDe in a three tier HetNet deployed in two different real-world environments. Our simulation results show that DUDe can provide improvements with regard to increasing the system coverage and data rates while the extent of improvement depends on the different environments that the system is deployed in.