A short intro on Cell-Free Massive MIMO: Uniform Service for Everyone

A simple illustration of a CF-mMIMO systems
A simple illustration of a CF-mMIMO systems, where a large number of distributed APs are jointly serving relatively fewer number of UEs
  • t_u is used for uplink data transmission, where the UEs transmit their own data in this phase,
  • t_d is for downlink data transmission, where the UEs receive signals from APs.
Cellular network vs Cell-free Massive MIMO network
Cellular network (left) vs. Cell-free Massive MIMO network (right) [1]
  • Synchronization: The network infrastructures need to be synchronized to be able to serve users by a coherent transmission.
  • Distributed signal processing: In cell-free systems, most of the networking operations, data detection, precoding, and decoding take place in a central processing unit (CPU). To keep the system scalable, one needs to design an efficient system that distributes the signal processing task on multiple CPUs.


Article written and edited by Salman Mohebi, a PhD researcher at Università degli Studi di Padova.


[1] Interdonato, Giovanni, et al. “Ubiquitous cell-free massive MIMO communications.” EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking 2019.1 (2019): 1–13.



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