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The Capacity of Wireless Networks: Information-Theoretic and Physical Limits

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3 Author(s)
Franceschetti, M. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Univ. of California, La Jolla, CA, USA ; Migliore, D. ; Minero, P.

It is shown that the capacity scaling of wireless networks is subject to a fundamental limitation which is independent of power attenuation and fading models. It is a degrees of freedom limitation which is due to the laws of physics. By distributing uniformly an order of n users wishing to establish pairwise independent communications at fixed wavelength inside a two-dimensional domain of size of the order of n, there are an order of n communication requests originating from the central half of the domain to its outer half. Physics dictates that the number of independent information channels across these two regions is only of the order of radicn, so the per-user information capacity must follow an inverse square-root of n law. This result shows that information-theoretic limits of wireless communication problems can be rigorously obtained without relying on stochastic fading channel models, but studying their physical geometric structure.

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Information Theory, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 8 )