Efficient Downlink Channel Probing and Uplink Feedback in FDD Massive MIMO Systems

Mahdi Barzegar Khalilsarai, Saeid Haghighatshoar, Giuseppe Caire

Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (massive MIMO) is a variant of multi-user MIMO in which the number of antennas at each Base Station (BS) is very large and typically much larger than the number of users simultaneously served. Massive MIMO can be implemented with Time Division Duplexing (TDD) or Frequency Division Duplexing (FDD) operation. FDD massive MIMO systems are particularly desirable due to their implementation in current wireless networks and their efficiency in situations with symmetric traffic and delay-sensitive applications. However, implementing FDD massive MIMO systems is known to be challenging since it imposes a large feedback overhead in the Uplink (UL) to obtain channel state information for the Downlink (DL). In recent years, a considerable amount of research is dedicated to developing methods to reduce the feedback overhead in such systems. In this paper, we use the sparse spatial scattering properties of the environment to achieve this goal. The idea is to estimate the support of the continuous, frequency-invariant scattering function from UL channel observations and use this estimate to obtain the support of the DL channel vector via appropriate interpolation. We use the resulting support estimate to design an efficient DL probing and UL feedback scheme in which the feedback dimension scales proportionally with the sparsity order of DL channel vectors. Since the sparsity order is much less than the number of BS antennas in almost all practically relevant scenarios, our method incurs much less feedback overhead compared with the currently proposed methods in the literature, such as those based on compressed-sensing. We use numerical simulations to assess the performance of our probing-feedback algorithm and compare it with these methods.

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