Beam-Space Multiplexing: Practice, Theory, and Trends, from 4G TD-LTE, 5G, to 6G and beyond

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  • Shanzhi Chen, China Academy of Telecommunications Technology (CATT)
  • ,
  • Shaohui Sun, China Academy of Telecommunications Technology (CATT)
  • ,
  • Guixian Xu
  • ,
  • Xin Su, China Academy of Telecommunications Technology (CATT)
  • ,
  • Yuemin Cai, China Academy of Telecommunications Technology (CATT)

In this article, the new term, namely beam-space multiplexing, is proposed for the former multi-layer beamforming for 4G TD-LTE in 3GPP releases. We provide a systematic overview of beam-space multiplexing from engineering and theoretical perspectives. First, we clarify the fundamental theory of beam-space multiplexing. Specifically, we provide a comprehensive comparison with antenna-space multiplexing in terms of theoretical analysis, channel state information acquisition, and engineering implementation constraints. Then, we summarize the key technologies and 3GPP standardization of beam-space multiplexing in 4G TD-LTE and 5G new radio (NR) in terms of multi-layer beamforming and massive beamforming, respectively. We also provide system-level performance evaluation of beam-space multiplexing schemes and field results from current commercial TD-LTE networks and field trial of 5G. The practical deployments of 4G TD-LTE and 5G cellular networks demonstrate the superiority of beam-space multiplexing within the limitations of implementation complexity and practical deployment scenarios. Finally, the future trends of beam-space multiplexing in 6G and beyond are discussed, including massive beamforming for extremely large-scale MIMO (XL-MIMO), low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication, data-driven intelligent massive beamforming, and multi-target spatial signal processing, that is, joint communication and sensing, positioning, and so on.

TidsskriftIEEE Wireless Communications
Sider (fra-til)162-172
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2020

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