A Glimpse into the Future of Massive MIMO

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2Q 2019 | IN-5503


Cell-Free Serial Massive MIMO


In recent ABI Research insights, we wrote about The Transformative Potential of Massive MIMO (IN-5420) and The Massive MIMO Innovation Pipeline (IN-5549) and outlined the benefits and challenges of massive Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MIMO) and future massive MIMO research and development areas.

One promising research area concerns Extremely Large Aperture Arrays (ELAAs), often called distributed massive MIMO or cell-free massive MIMO. In this insight we take an in-depth look at the topic as the future of massive MIMO.

Cell-Free versus Compact Massive MIMO


The motivation behind ELAAs relies on the spectral efficiency of the array increasing as the number of antenna elements increases, and since, according to the Shannon-Hartley theorem, spectral efficiency dictates sector throughput, having hundreds or even thousands of antenna elements should drive orders of magnitude increases in sector throughput compared to conventional “compact” massive MIMO.


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