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Evaluation of User-Centric Cell-Free Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output Networks Considering Realistic Channels and Frontend Nonlinear Distortion


[ 1 ] Instytut Radiokomunikacji, Wydział Informatyki i Telekomunikacji, Politechnika Poznańska | [ P ] employee

Scientific discipline (Law 2.0)

[2.3] Information and communication technology

Year of publication


Published in

Applied Sciences

Journal year: 2024 | Journal volume: vol. 14 | Journal number: iss. 5

Article type

scientific article

Publication language


  • massive MIMO
  • user-centric cell-free networks
  • OFDM
  • 3D ray tracing
  • nonlinear distortion

EN Future 6G networks are expected to utilize Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (M-MIMO) and follow a user-centric cell-free (UCCF) architecture. In a UCCF M-MIMO network, the user can be potentially served by multiple surrounding Radio Units (RUs) and Distributed Units (DUs) controlled and coordinated by a single virtualized Centralized Unit (CU). Moreover, in an M-MIMO network, each transmit frontend is equipped with a Power Amplifier (PA), typically with nonlinear characteristics, that can have a significant impact on the throughput achieved by network users. This work evaluates a UCCF M-MIMO network within an advanced system-level simulator considering multicarrier transmission, using Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM), realistic signal-processing steps, e.g., per resource block scheduling, and a nonlinear radio frontend. Moreover, both idealistic independent and identically distributed (i.i.d.) Rayleigh and 3D ray-tracing-based radio channels are evaluated. The results show that under the realistic radio channel, the novel user-centric network architecture can lead to an almost uniform distribution of user throughput and improve the rate of the users characterized by the worst radio conditions by over 3 times in comparison to a classical, network-centric design. At the same time, the nonlinear characteristics of the PA can cause significant degradation of the UCCF M-MIMO network’s performance when operating close to its saturation power.

Pages (from - to)

1684-1 - 1684-20





Article number: 1684

License type

CC BY (attribution alone)

Open Access Mode

open journal

Open Access Text Version

final published version

Date of Open Access to the publication

at the time of publication

Ministry points / journal


Impact Factor

2,7 [List 2022]

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