Cell-Free Massive MIMO: User-Centric Ultra-Dense Networks

  • Cell-Free Massive MIMO: User-Centric Ultra-Dense Networks

Cell-Free Massive MIMO: User-Centric Ultra-Dense Networks

Principal Supervisor: Dr. Hien Quoc Ngo

Second Supervisor: Dr Trung Q. Duong

+ Project Description

In conventional cellular wireless networks, a land area is divided into regular shaped cells (e.g., hexagonal, square, or circular). Each cell is served by one base station, and uses a different set of frequencies from neighboring cells, to avoid interference. By contrast, in this PhD project, we are targeting a disruptive and novel technology called “cell-free massive MIMO”. This novel technology is first proposed in [1] and has recently attracted a lot of attention from both academia and industry (e.g. Ericsson, Nokia Bell Labs, Huawei, etc.) [2, 3]. In cell-free massive MIMO, a number of access points, which are distributed at random in a very wide area (e.g. over an entire city), serve simultaneously many users randomly distributed in the same area. This technological paradigm is expected to offer many advantages compared with the conventional wireless systems: 1) huge throughput; 2) huge energy efficiency; 3) and high coverage probability. Thus, cell-free massive MIMO is a disruptive technology for next generations of densified wireless systems. One of the main disadvantages of cell-free massive MIMO is the requirement of large backhaul connections, especially in the ultra-dense networks. We will aim at designing novel transmission protocols (based on the user-centric approaches) as well as new resource allocations to deal with the above disadvantage.

Cell-free massive MIMO is expected to be one of the key technologies for next generation wireless systems. The research outputs of this project will be of high impact to both academia and industry. The students working on this project will have chances to collaborate with big research groups who are developing new technology for fifth generation (5G) wireless systems and beyond.

[1] Hien Quoc Ngo, Alexei Ashikhmin, Hong Yang, Erik G. Larsson, and Thomas L. Marzetta, “Cell-free Massive MIMO versus small cells,” IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, Jan. 2017, vol. 16, no.3, pp. 1834 – 1850, March 2017.

+ How to Apply

Applicants should apply electronically through the Queen’s online application portal at:

+ Contact Details

Supervisor Name: Dr. Hien Quoc Ngo  

Queens University of Belfast
School of EEECS
Centre for Wireless Innovation (CWI)
NI Science Park
Queens Road,



+44 (0)28 9097 1892