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In multi-user multiple-input multiple-output (MU-MIMO) systems, spatial multiplexing can be employed to increase the throughput without the need for multiple antennas and expensive signal processing at the user equipments. In theory, MU-MIMO is also more immune to most of propagation limitations plaguing single-user MIMO (SU-MIMO) systems, such as channel rank loss or antenna correlation. However, in this paper we show that this is not always true. We compare the capacity and the correlation of measured MU-MIMO channels for both outdoor and indoor scenarios. The measurement data has been acquired using Eurecompsilas MIMO openair sounder (EMOS). The EMOS can perform real-time MIMO channel measurements synchronously over multiple users. The results show that in most scenarios MU-MIMO provides a higher throughput than SU-MIMO also in the measured channels. However, in outdoor scenarios with a line of sight, the capacity drops significantly when the users are close together, due to high correlation at the transmitter side of the channel. In such a case, the performance of SU-MIMO and MU-MIMO is comparable.
Date of Conference: 15-18 Sept. 2008