April 26, 2017

Cell-Edge-Aware Precoding for Downlink Massive MIMO Cellular Networks

  • Andrews J.
  • Geraci G.
  • Quek T.
  • Yang H.

We propose a cell-edge-aware (CEA) zero forcing (ZF) precoder that exploits the excess spatial degrees of freedom provided by a large number of base station (BS) antennas to suppress inter-cell interference at the most vulnerable user equipments (UEs). We evaluate the downlink performance of CEA-ZF, as well as that of a conventional cell-edge-unaware (CEU) ZF precoder in a network with random base station topology. Our analysis and simulations show that the proposed CEA-ZF precoder outperforms CEU-ZF precoding in terms of (i) aggregate per-cell data rate, (ii) coverage probability, and (iii) 95%-likely, or edge user, rate. In particular, when both perfect channel state information and a large number of antennas N are available at the BSs, we demonstrate that the outage probabilities under CEA-ZF and CEU-ZF decay as 1/N2 and 1/N, respectively. This result identifies CEA-ZF as a more effective precoding scheme for massive MIMO cellular networks. Our framework also reveals the importance of scheduling the optimal number of UEs per BS, and confirms the necessity to control the amount of pilot contamination received during the channel estimation phase.

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