We present joint multi-user beamforming (JMB), a system that enables independent access points (APs) to beamform their signals, and communicate with their clients on the same channel as if they were one large MIMO transmitter. The key enabling technology behind JMB is a new low-overhead technique for synchronizing the phase of multiple transmitters in a distributed manner. The design allows a wireless LAN to scale its throughput by continually adding more APs on the same channel. JMB is implemented and tested with both software radio clients and off-the-shelf 802.11n cards, and evaluated in a dense congested deployment resembling a conference room. Results from a 10-AP software-radio testbed show a linear increase in network throughput with a median gain of 8.1 to 9.4. Our results also demonstrate that JMB’s joint multi-user beamforming can provide throughput gains with unmodified 802.11n cards.


MegaMIMO: Scaling Wireless Capacity with User Demands
Hariharan Rahul, Swarun Kumar, and Dina Katabi
ACM SIGCOMM, 2012.  PDF    


Hariharan Rahul
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Swarun Kumar
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dina Katabi
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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