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In a multiple transmit antenna, single antenna per receiver downlink channel with limited channel state feedback, we consider the following question: given a constraint on the total system-wide feedback load, is it preferable to get low-rate/coarse channel feedback from a large number of receivers or high-rate/high-quality feedback from a smaller number of receivers? Acquiring feedback from many receivers allows multi-user diversity to be exploited, while high-rate feedback allows for very precise selection of beamforming directions. We show that there is a strong preference for obtaining high-quality feedback, and that obtaining near-perfect channel information from as many receivers as possible provides a significantly larger sum rate than collecting a few feedback bits from a large number of users. In terms of system design, this corresponds to a preference for acquiring high-quality feedback from a few users on each time-frequency resource block, as opposed to coarse feedback from many users on each block.
Date of Publication: September 2012