Massive MIMO Unlicensed: A New Approach to Dynamic Spectrum Access

Adrian Garcia-Rodriguez, Giovanni Geraci, Lorenzo Galati Giordano, Andrea Bonfante, Ming Ding, David Lopez-Perez

Nowadays, the demand for wireless mobile services is copious, and will continue increasing in the near future. Mobile cellular operators are therefore looking at the unlicensed spectrum as an economical supplement to augment the capacity of their soon-to-be overloaded networks. The same unlicensed bands are luring internet service providers, venue owners, and authorities into autonomously setting up and managing their high-performance private networks. In light of this exciting future, ensuring coexistence between multiple unlicensed technologies becomes a pivotal issue. So far this issue has been merely addressed via inefficient sharing schemes based on intermittent transmission. In this article, we present the fundamentals and the main challenges behind massive MIMO unlicensed, a brand-new approach for technology coexistence in the unlicensed bands, which is envisioned to boost spectrum reuse for a plethora of use cases.

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