April 7, 2021

13. Distributed and Cell-Free Massive MIMO

Wireless devices normally connect to a single access point, deployed at one location. The access points are deployed sparsely to create large cell regions, each controlled by the nearest access point. This architecture was conceived for mobile telephony and has been inherited by today’s networks, even if those mainly transfer wireless data. However, future wireless networks might be organized entirely differently. In this episode, Erik G. Larsson and Emil Björnson discuss how one can create cell-free networks consisting of distributed massive MIMO arrays. The vision is that each user will be surrounded by small access points that cooperate to provide uniformly high service quality. The conversation covers the key benefits, how the network architecture can be evolved to support the new technology, and what the main research challenges are. To learn more, they recommend the article “Ubiquitous Cell-Free Massive MIMO Communications” (https://jwcn-eurasipjournals.springeropen.com/track/pdf/10.1186/s13638-019-1507-0) and the new book “Foundations of User-Centric Cell-Free Massive MIMO” (https://www.nowpublishers.com/article/Details/SIG-109). Music: On the Verge by Joseph McDade. Visit Erik’s website https://liu.se/en/employee/erila39 and Emil’s website https://ebjornson.com/

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