A Cost Assessment Methodology for User-Centric Distributed Massive MIMO Architectures
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2024

User-centric (UC) distributed massive multiple-input multiple-output (D-mMIMO), also known as cell-free mMIMO, is a pivotal technology for enabling future mobile communication systems. While UC D-mMIMO intrinsically follows a distributed architecture, its processing can be implemented in a distributed or centralized fashion. This paper proposes a comprehensive cost assessment methodology for UC D-mMIMO, capturing its total cost of ownership and factoring in the deployment configuration, processing implementation, computational demands, and fronthaul signaling. The methodology considers two transmission reception point (TRP) deployment strategies. The first focuses only on supporting user equipment (UE) demands, while the other fulfills these requirements and also actively strives to provide a fairer service among UEs. The proposed methodology is then used to perform a techno-economic assessment of the feasibility of centralized versus distributed processing functional splits while varying key costs and TRP capabilities, like antenna and served UE count. Results suggest that with the TRP deployment that only supports the required UE rate, distributed processing is usually the most feasible option for UE demands of up to 50 Mbps, and centralized processing is more cost-effective in other cases. Additionally, when considering the actively fairer TRP deployment, centralized processing becomes cheaper for any UE demands.

network deployment

functional splits

Biological system modeling

total cost of ownership

feasibility analysis

Computational complexity

5G mobile communication

Computer architecture

Cell-free massive MIMO

Massive MIMO


Distributed processing

techno-economic assessment


Andre L.P. Fernandes

Universidade Federal do Para

Daynara D. Souza

Universidade Federal do Para

Carlos Natalino Da Silva

Chalmers, Elektroteknik, Kommunikation, Antenner och Optiska Nätverk

Federico Tonini

Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Telecomunicazioni (CNIT)

Andre M. Cavalcante

Ericsson AB

Paolo Monti

Chalmers, Elektroteknik, Kommunikation, Antenner och Optiska Nätverk

Joao C.W.A. Costa

Universidade Federal do Para

IEEE Open Journal of the Communications Society

2644125X (eISSN)

Vol. In Press






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