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Hierarchical Cell-Free Massive MIMO for High Capacity with Simple Implementation

Wei Jiang; Hans Dieter Schotten
In: 2024 IEEE International Conference on Communications. IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC-2024), June 9-13, Denver, USA, IEEE, 6/2024.


Cell-free massive multi-input multi-output (MIMO) has recently gained much attention for its potential in shaping the landscape of sixth-generation (6G) wireless systems. This paper proposes a hierarchical network architecture tailored for cell-free massive MIMO, seamlessly integrating co-located and distributed antennas. A central base station (CBS), equipped with an antenna array, positions itself near the center of the coverage area, complemented by distributed access points spanning the periphery. The proposed architecture remarkably outperforms conventional cell-free networks, demonstrating superior sum throughput while maintaining a comparable worst-case per-user spectral efficiency. Meanwhile, the implementation cost associated with the fronthaul network is substantially diminished.