Transmit Diversity Vs. Spatial Multiplexing in Modern MIMO Systems

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Executive Summary

A contemporary perspective on transmit antenna diversity and spatial multiplexing is provided. It is argued that, in the context of most modern wireless systems and for the operating points of interest, transmission techniques that utilize all available spatial degrees of freedom for multiplexing outperform techniques that explicitly sacrifice spatial multiplexing for diversity. Reaching this conclusion, however, requires that the channel and some key system features be adequately modeled and that suitable performance metrics be adopted; failure to do so may bring about starkly different conclusions. As a specific example, this contrast is illustrated using the 3GPP Long-Term Evolution system design.

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