Adaptive Antenna Selection at Mobile Stations for SDMA in WiMAX Networks

The IEEE 802.16/WiMAX standards has fully embraced multi-antenna technology and can, thus, deliver robust performance and high transmission rates. Nevertheless, due to its inherent cost concerns, a WiMAX mobile station (MS) should preferably contain fewer radio frequency (RF) chains than antenna elements. Thus, antenna selection, wherein a subset of antennas is dynamically selected to connect to the limited number of RF chains for transceiving, is a highly appealing performance enhancement technique for multiantenna WiMAX terminals. In this paper, a novel protocol for antenna selection in space division multiple access (SDMA) transmission is developed for the next-generation IEEE 802.16 mobile stations. Both locally and globally optimal selection rules are considered at the base station (BS). The proposed protocol can readily accommodate various channel situations (e.g., reciprocal and non-reciprocal channels). As demonstrated by analysis and simulation, the proposed protocol delivers considerable performance improvement over conventional IEEE 802.16 terminals that lack antenna selection capability. Moreover, the proposed protocol leverages the existing signaling method defined in IEEE 802.16, thereby incurring a negligible signaling overhead and requiring only minimal modifications of the standard.