Massive MIMO in the UL/DL of Cellular Networks: How Many Antennas Do We Need?

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The authors consider the UpLink (UL) and DownLink (DL) of non-cooperative multi-cellular Time-Division Duplexing (TDD) systems, assuming that the number N of antennas per Base Station (BS) and the number K of User Terminals (UTs) per cell are large. Their system model accounts for channel estimation, pilot contamination, and an arbitrary path loss and antenna correlation for each link. They derive approximations of achievable rates with several linear pre-coders and detectors which are proven to be asymptotically tight, but accurate for realistic system dimensions, as shown by simulations.