Chapter 6

Coordinated MultiPoint (CoMP) Systems

Mauro Boldi, Antti Tölli, Magnus Olsson, Eric Hardouin, Tommy Svensson, Federico Boccardi, Lars Thiele and Volker Jungnickel

6.1 Overview of CoMP

Future cellular networks will need to provide high data rate services for a large number of User Equipments (UEs), which requires a high spectral efficiency over the entire cell area. Hence it is important that the radio interface is robust to interference. In particular Inter-Cell Interference (ICI) appears when the same radio resource is reused in different cells in an uncoordinated way. Naturally, ICI particularly degrades the performance of UEs located in the cell-edge areas, which creates a performance discrepancy between cell-edge and inner-cell UEs.

Over the years, several different methods have been studied in order to mitigate ICI. Interference averaging techniques (WINNER-II 2007a) aim at averaging the interference over all UEs, thereby reducing the interference experienced by some UEs. Frequency hopping (Carneheim 1994), which is used in GSM, is a well-known example of an interference averaging technique. Interference avoidance techniques (WINNER-II 2007b), on the other hand, aim at explicitly coordinating and avoiding interference, for example, by setting restrictions on how the radio resources are used. An example of this is Inter-Cell Interference Coordination (ICIC), which is available in the 3GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard (see e.g. Dahlman et al. 2008).

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