Base station cooperation on the downlink: Large system analysis

Randa Zakhour*, Stephen V. Hanly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)


This paper considers maximizing the network-wide minimum supported rate in the downlink of a two-cell system, where each base station (BS) is endowed with multiple antennas. This is done for different levels of cell cooperation. At one extreme, we consider single cell processing where the BS is oblivious to the interference it is creating at the other cell. At the other extreme, we consider full cooperative macroscopic beamforming. In between, we consider coordinated beamforming, which takes account of inter-cell interference, but does not require full cooperation between the BSs. We combine elements of Lagrangian duality and large system analysis to obtain limiting SINRs and bit-rates, allowing comparison between the considered schemes. The main contributions of the paper are theorems which provide concise formulas for optimal transmit power, beamforming vectors, and achieved signal to interference and noise ratio (SINR) for the considered schemes. The formulas obtained are valid for the limit in which the number of users per cell, K, and the number of antennas per base station, N, tend to infinity, with fixed ratio β = K/N. These theorems also provide expressions for the effective bandwidths occupied by users, and the effective interference caused in the adjacent cell, which allow direct comparisons between the considered schemes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6169187
Pages (from-to)2079-2106
Number of pages28
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Theory
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

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