Evaluation of Distributed MIMO Communication Using a Low-Complexity Sigma-Delta-over-Fiber Testbed

Distributing the antennas of a base station is a method to increase the coverage and the capacity of a conventional, co-located MIMO communication system. However, physically separated antennas/access points (AP) creates a fundamental challenge of RF phase synchronization required for joint/coordinated transmission in distributed MIMO (D-MIMO) systems. In this paper we compare co-located- and distributed-MIMO wireless communication thru various measurements using a fully synchronized, low-complexity, twelve-channel testbed based on sigma-delta-over-fiber (SDoF). Single and multi-user measurements are performed in a laboratory environment and the error-vector-magnitude (EVM), the received power and signal-to-interference ratio (SIR) is calculated. We show that distributing the access points improves the received symbol EVM up to 1.6-dB and increases the coverage of the service area by delivering more uniform received power levels.