Adaptive Resource Allocation in SDMA-Based Wireless Broadband Networks with OFDM Signaling

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The increasing popularity of wireless broadband access in local and wide area networks is the main expression of the need for flexible and ubiquitous wireless connectivity. In order to satisfy user resource requirements in the presence of volatility of the wireless medium, sophisticated multiple access and adaptation techniques are required, which alleviate channel impairments and increase system throughput. The use of multiple antennas at the base station allows intra-cell channel reuse by multiple spatially separable users through Space Division Multiple Access (SDMA) and hence enhances cell capacity. However, the employment of antennas in the physical layer raises significant issues in medium access control (MAC) layer. In this paper, we investigate the impact of antenna arrays on MAC layer channel allocation in the context of Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM), which is the predominantly proposed signaling scheme for wireless broadband access. We propose an algorithm to allocate channels to users based on their spatial separability properties, while appropriately adjusting beamforming weights and transmission rates for each user in a channel. The unified consideration of such adaptive techniques yields significant throughput benefits.