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Recently, the mobile communication industry is moving rapidly toward Long Term Evolution, or LTE, systems. The leading carriers and vendors are committed to launching LTE service in the near future; in fact, a number of major operators such as Verizon have initiated LTE service already. LTE aims to provide improved service quality over 3G systems in terms of throughput, spectral efficiency, latency, and peak data rate, and the MIMO technique is one of the key enablers of the LTE system for achieving these diverse goals. Among several operational modes of MIMO, multiuser MIMO (MU-MIMO), in which the base station transmits multiple streams to multiple users, has received much attention as a way of achieving improvement in performance. From the initial release (Rel. 8) to the recent release (Rel. 10), so called LTE-Advanced, MUMIMO techniques have evolved from their premature form to a more elaborate version. In this article, we provide an overview of design challenges and the specific solutions for MU-MIMO systems developed in the LTE-Advanced standard.
Date of Publication: March 2013