Massive MIMO performance evaluation based on measured propagation data

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Massive MIMO, also known as very-large MIMO or large-scale antenna systems, is a new technique that potentially can offer large network capacities in multi-user scenarios. With a massive MIMO system, we consider the case where a base station equipped with a large number of antenna elements simultaneously serves multiple single-antenna users in the same time-frequency resource. So far, investigations are mostly based on theoretical channels with independent and identically distributed (i.i.d.) complex Gaussian coefficients, i.e., i.i.d. Rayleigh channels. Here, we investigate how massive MIMO performs in channels measured in real propagation environments. Channel measurements were performed at 2.6 GHz using a virtual uniform linear array (ULA) which has a physically large aperture, and a practical uniform cylindrical array (UCA) which is more compact in size, both having 128 antenna ports. Based on measurement data, we illustrate channel behavior of massive MIMO in three representative propagation conditions, and evaluate the corresponding performance. The investigation shows that the measured channels, for both array types, allow us to achieve performance close to that in i.i.d. Rayleigh channels. It is concluded that in real propagation environments we have characteristics that can allow for efficient use of massive MIMO, i.e., the theoretical advantages of this new technology can also be harvested in real channels.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering


  • singular value spread, angular power spectra, channel capacity, very-large MIMO, Massive MIMO, channel measurements, multi-user MIMO, 5G
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3899-3911
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch

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