An uplink-downlink two-cell cellular network is studied in which the first base station (BS) with $M_1$ antennas receives independent messages from its $N_1$ serving users, while the second BS with $M_2$ antennas transmits independent messages to its $N_2$ serving users. That is, the first and second cells operate as uplink and downlink, respectively. Each user is assumed to have a single antenna. Under this uplink-downlink setting, the sum degrees of freedom (DoF) is completely characterized as the minimum of $(N_1N_2+\min(M_1,N_1)(N_1-N_2)^++\min(M_2,N_2)(N_2-N_1)^+)/\max(N_1,N_2)$, $M_1+N_2,M_2+N_1$, $\max(M_1,M_2)$, and $\max(N_1,N_2)$, where $a^+$ denotes $\max(0,a)$. The result demonstrates that, for a broad class of network configurations, operating one of the two cells as uplink and the other cell as downlink can strictly improve the sum DoF compared to the conventional uplink or downlink operation, in which both cells operate as either uplink or downlink. The DoF gain from such uplink-downlink operation is further shown to be achievable for heterogeneous cellular networks having hotspots and with delayed channel state information.

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