An Outdoor Experimental Study of Many Antenna Full-Duplex Wireless

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2023 35th International Teletraffic Congress (ITC-35)

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Full-duplex (FD) wireless communication refers to a communication system in which both ends of a wireless link transmit and receive data simultaneously and on the same frequency band. One of the major challenges of FD communication is self-interference (SI), which refers to the interference caused by transmitting elements of a radio to its own receiving elements. Fully digital beamforming is a technique used to conduct beamforming and has been recently repurposed to also reduce SI. However, the cost of fully digital systems (e.g., base stations) dramatically increases with the increase in the number of antennas as these systems use a separate Tx-Rx RF chain for each antenna element. Hybrid beamforming systems use a much smaller number of RF chains to feed the same number of antennas, and hence can significantly reduce the deployment cost. In this paper, we aim to quantify the performance gap between these two radio architectures in terms of SI cancellation and system capacity in FD multi-user MIMO setups. We first obtained over-the-air channel measurement data on two outdoor massive MIMO deployments over the course of three months. We next study two state-of-the-art transmit beamforming based FD systems for fully digital and hybrid architectures. We show that the hybrid beamforming system can achieve 80-97% of the fully digital system capacity, depending on the number of clients.


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