Rate splitting for MIMO wireless networks: A promising PHY-layer strategy for LTE evolution

Bruno Clerckx, Hamdi Joudeh, Chenxi Hao, Mingbo Dai, Borzoo Rassouli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

198 Citations (Scopus)


MIMO processing plays a central part in the recent increase in spectral and energy efficiencies of wireless networks. MIMO has grown beyond the original point-to-point channel and nowadays refers to a diverse range of centralized and distributed deployments. The fundamental bottleneck toward enormous spectral and energy efficiency benefits in multiuser MIMO networks lies in a huge demand for accurate CSIT. This has become increasingly difficult to satisfy due to the increasing number of antennas and access points in next generation wireless networks relying on dense heterogeneous networks and transmitters equipped with a large number of antennas. CSIT inaccuracy results in a multi-user interference problem that is the primary bottleneck of MIMO wireless networks. Looking backward, the problem has been to strive to apply techniques designed for perfect CSIT to scenarios with imperfect CSIT. In this article, we depart from this conventional approach and introduce readers to a promising strategy based on rate-splitting. Rate-splitting relies on the transmission of common and private messages, and is shown to provide significant benefits in terms of spectral and energy efficiencies, reliability, and CSI feedback overhead reduction over conventional strategies used in LTE-A and exclusively relying on private message transmissions. Open problems, the impact on standard specifications, and operational challenges are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7470942
Pages (from-to)98-105
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Communications Magazine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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