In: European Conference on Networks and Communications & 6G Summit. EuCNC/6G Summit, June 6-9, Gothenburg, Sweden, IEEE, 6/2023.
User experience in mobile communications is vulnerable to worse quality at the cell edge, which cannot be compensated by enjoying excellent service at the cell center, according to the principle of risk aversion in behavioral economics. Constrained by weak signal strength and substantial inter-cell interference, the cell edge is always a major bottleneck of any mobile network. Due to their possibility for empowering the next-generation mobile system, reconfigurable intelligent surface (RIS) and cell-free massive MIMO (CFmMIMO) have recently attracted a lot of focus from academia and industry. In addition to a variety of technological advantages, both are highly potential to boost cell-edge performance. To the authors' best knowledge, a performance comparison of RIS and CFmMIMO, especially on the cell edge, is still missing in the literature. To fill this gap, this paper establishes a fair scenario and demonstrates extensive numerical results to clarify their behaviors at the cell edge.