Distributed Base Station: A Concept System for Long-Range Broadband Wireless Access

Muhammed Faruk Gencel, Maryam Eslami Rasekh, Upamanyu Madhow

We propose a concept system termed distributed base station (DBS), which enables distributed transmit beamforming at large carrier wavelengths to achieve significant range extension and/or increased downlink data rate, providing a low-cost infrastructure for applications such as rural broadband. We consider a frequency division duplexed (FDD) system, using feedback from the receiver to achieve the required phase coherence. At a given range, $N$ cooperating transmitters can achieve $N^2$-fold increase in received power compared to that for a single transmitters, and feedback-based algorithms with near-ideal performance have been prototyped. In this paper, however, we identify and address key technical issues in translating such power gains into range extension via a DBS. First, to combat the drop in per-node SNR with extended range, we design a feedback-based adaptation strategy that is suitably robust to noise. Second, to utilize available system bandwidth, we extend narrowband adaptation algorithms to wideband channels through interpolation over OFDM subcarriers. Third, we observe that the feedback channel may become a bottleneck unless sophisticated distributed reception strategies are employed, but show that acceptable performance can still be obtained with standard uplink reception if channel time variations are slow enough. We quantify system performance compactly via outage capacity analyses.

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