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Network Multiple-Input Multiple-Output for Advanced Wireless Systems (NetMIMO)
Start date: Apr 1, 2008, End date: Mar 31, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Over the last two decades, the progressive introduction of advanced techniques (forward error correction, power control, link adaptation, incremental redundancy, etc) and the massive increases in processing power have taken wireless cellular systems to the point where links are operating close to their capacity and frequency reuse patterns are becoming universal. At this juncture, cellular systems have become limited, first and foremost, by their own interference. It is becoming increasingly clear that major new improvements in spectral efficiency will have to entail addressing such intercell interference. Traditionally, a user is assigned to a cell and it then communicates with that cell site while causing interference to all other sites in the system. The premise of NetMIMO is that, in the uplink specifically, intercell interference is merely a superposition of signals that were intended for other cell sites, i.e., signals that happen to have been collected at the wrong place. If these signals could be properly classified and routed, they would in fact cease to be interference and become useful in the detection of the information they bear. (A dual observation can be made about the downlink.) This insight naturally leads to the conclusion that, ultimately, the goal should be to serve all users through all the sites within their range of influence. While challenging, this is theoretically possible by virtue of the fact that the cell sites are connected by a powerful backbone network. This ambitious idea leverages the almost unlimited bandwidth available in optical wireline networks to transcend the burden of wireless intercell interference. In the NetMIMO framework then, the notion of a cell gets blurred once users are no longer assigned to specific sites. Ultimately, there is a network of sites serving a pool of users. While this is a conceptually simple proposition, it poses numerous hurdles and challenges that this project aims to resolve.

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