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Performance of Massive MIMO Self-Backhauling for Ultra-Dense Small Cell Deployments

by   Andrea Bonfante, et al.

A key aspect of the fifth-generation wireless communication network will be the integration of different services and technologies to provide seamless connectivity. In this paper, we consider using massive multiple-input multiple-output (mMIMO) to provide backhaul links to a dense deployment of self-backhauling (s-BH) small cells (SCs) that provide cellular access within the same spectrum resources of the backhaul. Through a comprehensive system-level simulation study, we evaluate the interplay between access and backhaul and the resulting end-to-end user rates. Moreover, we analyze the impact of different SCs deployment strategies, while varying the time resource allocation between radio access and backhaul links. We finally compare the above mMIMO-based s-BH approach to a mMIMO direct access (DA) architecture accounting for the effects of pilot reuse schemes, together with their associated overhead and contamination mitigation effects. The results show that dense SCs deployments supported by mMIMO s-BH provide significant rate improvements for cell-edge users (UEs) in ultra-dense deployments with respect to mMIMO DA, while the latter outperforms mMIMO s-BH from the median UEs' standpoint.


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