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Cost-Effectiveness Analysis and Design of Cost-Efficient Cell-Free Massive MIMO Systems

Wei Jiang; Hans Dieter Schotten
In: IEEE PIMRC 2024. IEEE International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications (PIMRC-2024), September 8-11, Valencia, Spain, IEEE, 9/2024.


Cell-free massive multi-input multi-output (MIMO) has recently attracted much attention, attributed to its potential to deliver uniform service quality. However, the adoption of a cell-free architecture raises concerns about the high implementation costs associated with deploying numerous distributed access points (APs) and the need for fronthaul network installation. To ensure the sustainability of next-generation wireless networks, it is crucial to improve cost-effectiveness, alongside achieving high performance. To address this, we conduct a cost analysis of cell-free massive MIMO and build a unified model with varying numbers of antennas per AP. Our objective is to explore whether employing multi-antenna APs could reduce system costs while maintaining performance. The analysis and evaluation result in the identification of a cost-effective design for cell-free massive MIMO, providing valuable insights for practical implementation.