The Cellular Relay Carpet: Distributed Cooperation with Ubiquitous Relaying


Raphael Rolny, Tim Rüegg, Marc Kuhn, and Armin Wittneben


Springer International Journal of Wireless Information Networks, June 2014.

DOI: 10.1007/s10776-014-0244-x

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We consider the up- as well as downlink of a cellular network in which base stations (BSs) are supported by a large amount of relays spread over the entire area like a carpet. The BSs only see the static relays as the nodes they communicate with, which enables large antenna arrays at the BSs with sophisticated multi-user MIMO transmission. Together with a simple form of BS cooperation, the communication via the small relay cells allows to improve the data rates by distributed interference management and to reduce the complexity at the terminals. We investigate different types of relays as well as different relaying strategies for this relay carpet and compare them with respect to complexity, required channel state information (CSI), and performance in the interference-limited environment of dense cellular networks. The robustness of the different schemes with respect to channel estimation errors is studied and we conclude that especially relays of very low complexity are not sensitive to CSI imperfections. Relays can thus be applied in large numbers and enable massive MIMO at the BSs. The relay carpet proves thereby to be an efficient approach to enhance future generations of cellular networks significantly.


Cellular networks, cooperation, relaying, multi-user MIMO, channel estimation, imperfections


The final publication is available at Springer International Journal of Wireless Information Networks, June 2014.

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