IEEE Communications Magazine • September 2002
tive constant on a tone-by-tone basis. WithMIMO, the channel response becomes a matrix.Since each tone can be equalized independently,the complexity of space-time equalizers is avoid-ed. Multipath remains an advantage for aMIMO-OFDM system since frequency selectivitycaused by multipath improves the rank distribu-tion of the channel matrices across frequencytones, thereby increasing capacity . Another key feature of the physical layerdesign is adaptive modulation and coding thatallows different data rates to be assigned to dif-ferent users depending on their channel condi-tions. Since the channel conditions vary overtime, the receiver collects a set of channel statis-tics which are used both by the transmitter andreceiver to optimize system parameters such asmodulation and coding, signal bandwidth, signalpower, training period, channel estimation fil-ters, automatic gain control, and so on. The Air-burst system has a proprietary link adaptationalgorithm (LA) that tracks channel variationsand adapts transmission parameters to performoptimally under prevailing conditions .Of course, a successful broadband wirelessaccess system must have an efficient co-designedmedium access control (MAC) layer for reliablelink performance over the lossy wireless channel.The corresponding MAC is designed so that theTCP/IP layers see a high-quality link that itexpects. This is achieved by an automatic retrans-mission and fragmentation mechanism (automaticrepeat request, ARQ), wherein the transmitterbreaks up packets received from higher layersinto smaller subpackets, which are transmittedsequentially. If a subpacket is receiver incorrectly,the transmitter is requested to retransmit it. ARQcan be seen as a mechanism for introducing timediversity into the system due to its capability torecover from noise, interference, and fades. Moredetails on ARQ design can be found in .The performance of the Airburst system isdemonstrated by lab and field trial results. Theperformance can be measured by three key met-rics: coverage, spectrum efficiency, and reliability.The first two metrics are key in determining thecost of the system. Good coverage is importantinitially when few base stations are installed, whilespectrum efficiency defines how many users canbe supported per unit of spectrum over the long-term. Reliability determines the quality of servicea customer receives, and correspondingly long-term customer satisfaction. The system is current-ly targeted for business, home-office, residentialand mobile users requiring high-rate data services.
In this section we briefly describe the key chan-nel characteristics that influence the broadband wireless system design such as channel disper-sion, Ricean
-factor, Doppler, cross-polariza-tion discrimination, antenna correlation, andcondition number. Figure 1 shows a typical non-LOS propagation scenario.
— An important channelcharacteristic that influences a system perfor-mance is channel dispersion due to reflectionsfrom close in and far away objects. The dispersionis often quantified by the rms delay spread, whichincreases with distance, and changes with environ-ment, antenna beamwidth, and antenna height .Typical values are in the 0.1–5
— The fading signal magnitude follows aRice distribution, which can be characterized bytwo parameters: the power
of constant channelcomponents and the power
from scatter channelcomponents. The ratio of these two (
) is calledthe Ricean
-factor. The worst case fading occurs when
= 0 and the distribution is regarded asRayleigh distribution (
= 0). The
-factor is animportant parameter in system design since itrelates to the probability of a fade of certain depth.Both fixed and mobile communications systemshave to be designed for the most severe fading con-ditions for reliable operation (i.e., Rayleigh fading).
— The fixed wireless channel Dopplerspectrum differs from the mobile channelDoppler spectrum . For fixed wireless chan-nels, it was found that the Doppler is in the0.1–2 Hz frequency range and has close to expo-nential or rounded spectrum shape. For mobile wireless channels, the Doppler can be on theorder of 100 Hz and has the Jake’s spectrum.
— Thecross-polarization discrimination (XPD) isdefined as the ratio of the co-polarized averagereceived power
to the cross-polarized averagereceived power,
. XPD quantifies the separa-tion between two transmission channels that usedifferent polarization orientations. The largerthe XPD, the less energy is coupled between thecross-polarized channels. The XPD values werefound to decrease with increasing distance .
— Antenna correlationplays a very important role in single-input multi-output (SIMO), multi-input single-output(MISO), and MIMO systems. If the complex cor-relation coefficient is high (e.g., greater than 0.7),
A wireless propagation scenario.