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Channel Hardening and Favorable Propagation in Cell-Free Massive MIMO With Stochastic Geometry
Linköping University, Department of Electrical Engineering, Communication Systems. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Linköping University, Department of Electrical Engineering, Communication Systems. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5954-434X
2018 (English)In: IEEE Transactions on Communications, ISSN 0090-6778, E-ISSN 1558-0857, Vol. 66, no 11, p. 5205-5219Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Cell-free (CF) massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) is an alternative topology for future wireless networks, where a large number of single-antenna access points (APs) are distributed over the coverage area. There are no cells but all users are jointly served by the APs using network MIMO methods. Prior works have claimed that the CF massive MIMO inherits the basic properties of cellular massive MIMO, namely, channel hardening and favorable propagation. In this paper, we evaluate if one can rely on these properties when having a realistic stochastic AP deployment. Our results show that channel hardening only appears in special cases, for example, when the pathloss exponent is small. However, by using 5-10 antennas per AP, instead of one, we can substantially improve the hardening. Only spatially well-separated users will exhibit favorable propagation, but when adding more antennas and/or reducing the pathloss exponent, it becomes more likely for favorable propagation to occur. The conclusion is that we cannot rely on the channel hardening and the favorable propagation when analyzing and designing the CF massive MIMO networks, but we need to use achievable rate expressions and resource allocation schemes that work well also in the absence of these properties. Some options are reviewed in this paper.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE-INST ELECTRICAL ELECTRONICS ENGINEERS INC , 2018. Vol. 66, no 11, p. 5205-5219
Keywords [en]
Cell-free massive MIMO; channel hardening; favorable propagation; achievable rates; stochastic geometry
National Category
Telecommunications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-153183DOI: 10.1109/TCOMM.2018.2846272ISI: 000450191400015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-153183DiVA, id: diva2:1267275
Note

Funding Agencies|ELLIIT; CENIIT; Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF)

Available from: 2018-11-30 Created: 2018-11-30 Last updated: 2019-06-28

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