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Downlink MIMO in LTE-advanced: SU-MIMO vs. MU-MIMO

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6 Author(s)
Lingjia Liu ; Univ. of KansasKansas, KS, USA ; Runhua Chen ; Geirhofer, S. ; Sayana, K.
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Single-user multi-antenna technologies are well upported in current standard specifications like LTE Release 8/9. Further development of the specification (LTE-Advanced) is expected to conform to the requirements for IMT-Advanced systems. One of the key enabling features of LTE-Advanced to meet IMT-Advanced downlink performance requirements is multi-user MIMO, where a transmitter serves multiple users simultaneously on the same frequency resource, primarily relying on spatial separation. In general, multi-user MIMO is beneficial for improving average user spectral efficiency. However, cell edge user spectral efficiency may be reduced if multi-user MIMO is used exclusively, due to residual inter-user interference arising from practical multi-user beamforming and reduced transmit power allocated to each user. Therefore, it should be possible to configure the UE-specific transmission mode to support dynamic switching between single-user MIMO and multi-user MIMO to balance the cell edge user spectral efficiency as well as the average cell user spectral efficiency. In this article, we study various aspects of multi-user MIMO including design philosophy, multi-user precoding, and control signaling. The associated feedback schemes, including those that facilitate dynamic switching, are discussed. Performance evaluation is conducted to demonstrate the gain of dynamically switched single-user and multiuser MIMO as opposed to traditional single-user MIMO.

Published in:

Communications Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:50 ,  Issue: 2 )