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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/X013162/1
Title: Cell-Free Massive MIMO for Future Wireless Networks
Principal Investigator: Xiao, Professor P
Other Investigators:
Foh, Dr C
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
BT Queen's University of Belfast ZTE Wistron Telecom AB
Department: Institute of Communications Systems
Organisation: University of Surrey
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 03 January 2023 Ends: 02 January 2026 Value (£): 571,066
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Networks & Distributed Systems RF & Microwave Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Communications
Related Grants:
EP/X01309X/1
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
20 Sep 2022 EPSRC ICT Prioritisation Panel September 2022 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
To support a wide range of envisioned applications, including autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things, and immersive technologies, future wireless technologies must meet demanding requirements for higher spectral and energy efficiency, lower end-to-end latency and massive connectivity as well as uniform user experience. Given the constraints on the available resources, the current inflexible, network-centric cellular networks cannot fulfil those disparate performance objectives. Even in massive MIMO cellular systems there remains an inherent bottleneck for cell-edge users.

The recently emerged cell-free massive MIMO (CF-mMIMO) concept is a game changer and represents a paradigm shift in the network architecture. In CF-mMIMO, cell boundaries are removed by distributing a large number of centrally connected access points over a wide service area: the resulting global network becomes fully user-centric and flexible. This provides important potential benefits, including: 1) high quality uniform user experience due to the user-centric approach; 2) superior spectral and energy efficiency through joint processing; 3) reduced latency due to distributed processing; 4) exceptional coverage probability due to distributed access points.

However, there are key challenges that need to be addressed to realise these underlying benefits of CF-MaMIMO. These challenges constitute major obstacles to keep CFmMIMO from being practically deployable. This research project aims to address those fundamental challenges. The proposed techniques will transform CF-MaMIMO into a fully user-centric, scalable, flexible system to embrace emerging AI-empowered technologies. This will enable CF-MaMIMO to support the wide range of envisioned applications in 6G and beyond. This project will benefit from strong industrial support from BT and ZTE as well as from world-leading international advisory group.
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Organisation Website: http://www.surrey.ac.uk