System-Level Assessment of Low Complexity Hybrid Precoding Designs for Massive MIMO Downlink Transmissions in Beyond 5G Networks
Applied Sciences (Switzerland) Vol. 12, Nº 6, pp. 2812 - 2835, March, 2022.
ISSN (print): 2076-3417
Scimago Journal Ranking: 0,49 (in 2022)
Digital Object Identifier: 10.3390/app12062812
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The fast growth experienced by the telecommunications field during the last few decades has been motivating the academy and the industry to invest in the design, testing and deployment of new evolutions of wireless communication systems. Terahertz (THz) communication represents one of the possible technologies to explore in order to achieve the desired achievable rates above 100 Gbps and the extremely low latency required in many envisioned applications. Despite the potentialities, it requires proper system design, since working in the THz band brings a set of challenges, such as the reflection and scattering losses through the transmission path, the high dependency with distance and the severe hardware constraints. One key approach for overcoming some of these challenges relies on the use of massive/ultramassive antenna arrays combined with hybrid precoders based on fully connected phase-shifter architectures or partially connected architectures, such as arrays of subarrays (AoSAs) or dynamic AoSAs (DAoSAs). Through this strategy, it is possible to obtain very high-performance gains while drastically simplifying the practical implementation and reducing the overall power consumption of the system when compared to a fully digital approach. Although these types of solutions have been previously proposed to address some of the limitations of mmWave/THz communications, a lack between link-level and system-level analysis is commonly verified. In this paper, we present a thorough system-level assessment of a cloud radio access network (C-RAN) for beyond 5G (B5G) systems where the access points (APs) operate in the mmWave/THz bands, supporting multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) transmission with massive/ultra-massive antenna arrays combined with low-complexity hybrid precoding architectures. Results showed that the C-RAN deployments in two indoor office scenarios for the THz were capable of achieving good throughput and coverage performances, with only a small compromise in terms of gains when adopting reduced complexity hybrid precoders. Furthermore, we observed that the indoor-mixed office scenario can provide higher throughput and coverage performances independently of the cluster size when compared to the indoor-open office scenario.