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The asymptotic probability distribution of the mutual information of a separately correlated Rician fading multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) channel is addressed. The mean and variance of the mutual information are derived when the number of transmit and receive antennas grows asymptotically large while their ratio approaches a finite constant. This derivation is based on the replica method, widely used in theoretical physics and, more recently, in the analysis of communication systems (code-division multiple access (CDMA) and MIMO). Though the replica method allows to analyze complex systems in a comparatively simple way, some authors pointed out that its assumptions are not always rigorous. It is shown that the mutual information converges asymptotically to a Gaussian distribution under mild technical conditions, which are tantamount to assuming that the spatial correlation structure has no asymptotically dominant eigenmodes. The accuracy of the asymptotic approach is assessed by numerical results. It is shown that the approximation is very accurate in a wide range of system settings, even when the number of transmit and receive antennas is as small as a few units.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2008