Elevation beamforming and Full Dimension MIMO (FD-MIMO) has been an active area of research and standardization in 3GPP LTE-Advanced. In an FD-MIMO system, a base station with 2-dimensional (2D) active array supports multi-user joint elevation and azimuth beamforming (a.k.a.3D beamfoming), which results in much higher cell capacity compared to conventional systems. Recent study has shown that with these new FD-MIMO technologies, we can achieve promising 3-5x gain in both cell capacity as well as cell-edge throughput.
In this paper, we will provide a brief summary of recent 3GPP activities, including the recently completed 3D channel model, ongoing study on FD-MIMO scenarios, antenna/RF (radio frequency) transceiver architectures, as well as potential network performance benefits. In addition, we also discuss some methods for reducing CSI (channel state information) feedback overhead and ensuring efficient operation of large size FD-MIMO for both TDD and FDD systems.
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