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Space-division multiple-access (SDMA) is a communication technique that enables a base station to communicate with several mobile users simultaneously. The ability of the base station to spatially separate several users depends on the pairwise cross correlations between the channel matrices of the users (the inter-user correlation). In this paper, we propose an improved steering downlink multiple-input-multiple-output-orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) system that reduces both the inter-user correlation and the near-far problem resulting in a significant enhancement in system performance. In this system, several base station multiantenna arrays are distributed in a given area. Each array communicates with the base station via optical fiber links, and all transmitter signal processing is performed at the base station. Multiantenna users are spatially separated such that only a subset of the users is served by each tone of the OFDM symbol. The served users are selected based on an algorithm that reduces the inter-user correlations. Distributing the arrays around the users also balances the channel matrix leading to significant reduction in the effect of the near-far problem. The channel matrix of each user is assumed correlated and Ricean distributed. Several data symbols can be spatially multiplexed to each user over each OFDM tone with high reliability and with good total system capacity.
Date of Publication: March 2006