MIMO Relays for Increased Coverage and Capacity in Broadband Cellular Systems
A significant challenge for fourth generation cellular systems is the reliable delivery of high speed (up to 1 gigabit per second) data to mobile or nomadic users throughout a cluttered urban environment. The wireless channel is a difficult channel over which to achieve high rate reliable communications. The wireless channel suffers many impairments such as smallscale multipath fading, shadowing, high path loss, co-channel interference, and Doppler shift due to mobility of the terminals and
... lity in the propagation environment. Since radio spectrum is a scarce resource it is necessary to build cellular networks with high spectral efficiency. Two promising methods to solve this problem are multihop (MH) relaying and multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) antenna techniques. The most difficult mobile users to serve reliably are those close to cell edges and those shadowed by large objects such as buildings. With MH relaying, a number of simple and inexpensive wireless relays are deployed throughout the cell to relay transmissions around obstacles and to reduce the path loss to distant mobile users. Also, MH relaying enables the deployment of small subcells throughout the cell, increasing the system's area averaged spectral efficiency. Various MIMO techniques can be used in scattering channels to increase capacity and reliability of data links in a wireless network. MH relaying and MIMO are key inclusions in emerging cellular standards such as IEEE 802.16 and LTE-Advanced, so it is necessary to study how these may be used jointly in a cellular environment. We look at various techniques available in MH relaying and MIMO, and assess the benefits and difficulties of these techniques when used in cellular systems. We put together a realistic cellular system model, with typical cellular topologies and well-accepted propagation models, and assess the performance of a multihop MIMO system. We find that there are tradeoffs in using these techniques jointly since they provide gains by somewhat conflicting methods. MH relaying lowers path loss and mitigates scattering in the channel, while MIMO benefits from significant scattering. As a result, it is necessary to understand how to design a MH-MIMO network carefully in order to maximize the net benefit.