Coverage enhancement of an eMTC system may be limited if an MTC device switches from transmission mode to reception mode using subframes that may be utilized for transmissions or receptions. The present disclosure provides, among others, a mechanism by which a device may determine a set of valid subframes for use in communicating via a backhaul link, an access link, and/or a direct link. In addition, the present disclosure provides a mechanism by which a device may switch between different communication link operations using subframes that are unavailable for transmitting and/or receiving data. The apparatus may receive repetition configuration information from a base station in communication with the relay node. In addition, the apparatus may determine a backhaul repetition configuration for a backhaul link and an access link repetition configuration for an access link at the relay node based at least on the repetition configuration received from the base station.