Friday, April 2, 2010

Support of Beamforming in the IEEE 801.16 Standards

Add a Note HereBeamforming is defined in IEEE 802.16-2004 and in 802.16e. This feature is not in the set of the fixed WiMAX profiles. For the mobile WiMAX profiles, this feature is mandatory to be supported by the MS and optional for the BS. For the mobile WiMAX, several mechanisms that enhance the performance and operation of beamforming are provisioned.
Add a Note HereIn the downlink, in order to be able to beamform several users at the same and on different subchannels, a zone is dedicated (indicated in the DL-MAP). This region, labelled (2) in Figure 1, contains permutations with dedicated pilot channels. This means that an MS receiving a burst in this region only takes as valid pilots the pilots associated with the subchannel it has been allocated.

Add a Note HereFigure 1: Example of a frame with regions supporting AAS operation
Add a Note HereIn the uplink, as mentioned previously, the beamforming mechanisms can be applied on any MS. However, to improve the performance and to help the BS in detecting/measuring the interference experienced by the users it wants to serve, a specific signalling zone may be allocated: the uplink sounding zone (indicated by UIUC=13). Actually, the BS may ask some MS to transmit a signal in this zone so that the BS can evaluate the interference on some subcarriers for those MSs.

Add a Note HereFinally, in order to limit the signalling overhead, the WiMAX solution employing beamforming may use the compressed maps and submaps to transmit the common signalling messages (DL-MAP/UL-MAP). Indeed, this permits different modulation, coding and repetition schemes to be applied to several zones in the DL-MAP/UL-MAP message. This solution can also be employed in the case of MIMO or the support of the HARQ.
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