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Table 5 Areas of application of CF massive MIMO

From: Application of cell-free massive MIMO in 5G and beyond 5G wireless networks: a survey


Areas of application




[68, 69]


Promising energy harvesting technology for an energy-limited environment

Optimized achievable energy-rate trade-off and improved EE

Adverse channel effects, reduced throughput

[62, 64, 123]

Channel hardening

In the regime of a massive number of antennas, fading channels become almost deterministic. This effect is referred to as channel hardening

High SE and reliable performance

Spatial correlation at the APs, pilot contamination and presence of line-of-sight (LoS) propagation

[66, 67, 77, 84, 124]

Hardware efficiency

Communication networks are generally affected by non-idealities under practical operational conditions. This inevitably degrades the system’s performance dramatically

Economical transceivers

Decrease in hardware qualities, adverse effect of HI at UE, and performance degradation owing to the processing power of APs

[53, 81, 125]

Power control

Intelligent distribution of transmitter power along various antennas to manage interference and guarantee maximized performance within the system

Improved efficiency of wireless systems and improved throughput to all users

Shadowing effects, multi-objective optimization problem, and the complexity of power allocation algorithm

[81, 126]

Learning-based CF massive MIMO

It encompasses an ML framework where deep layers enable learning from a large amount of data

Robustness against pilot contamination and improved resource allocation

Shadowing effects and increase in training time as the number of UEs grows large

[26, 127]

Interference management

Techniques employed to manage interference abounded in wireless networks

Suppression of inter-cell interference

Residual self-interference (RSI)



An insightful technique in which multiple users are simultaneously served using the same time-frequency resource block

Massive connectivity and attractive SE gains

Imperfect SIC and pilot contamination

[80, 85]


A vital performance metric considered in the design of wireless communication systems and expressed as the ratio of data rate to bandwidth

Improved area throughput

Spatial correlation

[37, 41, 78, 131, 132]


An essential energy-saving technique geared toward reducing the total energy consumption in wireless systems

Significant reduction in total power consumption improved radiated EE

Power lows, the trade-off between EE and SE