On The Uplink Throughput of Zero-Forcing in Cell-Free Massive MIMO with Coarse Quantization

Dick Maryopi, Manijeh Bashar, Alister Burr

The recently proposed Cell-Free massive MIMO architecture is studied for the uplink. In contrast to most previous works, joint detection is performed using global CSI. Therefore, we study strategies for transferring CSI to the CPU taking into account the fronthaul capacity which limits CSI quantization. Two strategies for pilot-based CSI acquisition are considered: estimate-and-quantize and quantize-and-estimate. These are analysed using the Bussgang decomposition. For a given quantization constraint for the data and CSI the achievable rate per user with Zero-Forcing is determined. Numerical results show that quantize-and-estimate (the simpler strategy) is similar to or better than estimate-and-quantize, especially for 1-bit resolution.

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