MmWave massive-MIMO-based wireless backhaul for the 5G ultra-dense network

Zhen Gao, Linglong Dai, De Mi, Zhaocheng Wang, Muhammad Ali Imran, Muhammad Zeeshan Shakir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

350 Citations (Scopus)


The ultra-dense network (UDN) has been considered as a promising candidate for future 5G networks to meet the explosive data demand. To realize UDN, a reliable, gigahertz bandwidth, and cost-effective backhaul connecting ultradense small-cell BSs and macrocell BS are prerequisite. Millimeter-wave can provide the potential gigabit-per-second traffic for wireless backhaul. Moreover, mmWave can easily be integrated with massive MIMO for improved link reliability. In this article, we discuss the feasibility of mmWave massive-MIMO-based wireless backhaul for 5G UDN, and the benefits and challenges are also addressed. In particular, we propose a digitally controlled phase shifter network (DPSN)-based hybrid precoding/combining scheme for mmWave massive MIMO, whereby the low-rank property of the mmWave massive MIMO channel matrix is leveraged to reduce the required cost and complexity of a transceiver with a negligible performance loss. One key feature of the proposed scheme is that the macrocell BS can simultaneously support multiple small-cell BSs with multiple streams for each small-cell BS, which is essentially different from conventional hybrid precoding/combining schemes, typically limited to single-user MIMO with multiple streams or multi-user MIMO with single stream for each user. Based on the proposed scheme, we further explore the fundamental issues of developing mmWave massive MIMO for wireless backhaul, and the associated challenges, insight, and prospects to enable mmWave massive-MIMO-based wireless backhaul for 5G UDN are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-21
JournalIEEE Wireless Communications Magazine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • MIMO
  • 5G mobile communication
  • Channel estimation
  • Reliability
  • Macrocell networks
  • Wireless communication
  • radio frequency


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