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Next Generation Multiple Access with Cell-Free Massive MIMO
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  • Mohammadali Mohammadi ,
  • Zahra Mobini ,
  • Hien Quoc Ngo ,
  • Michail Matthaiou
Mohammadali Mohammadi
Queens University Belfast

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Zahra Mobini
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Hien Quoc Ngo
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Michail Matthaiou
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To meet the unprecedented mobile traffic demands of future wireless networks, a paradigm shift from conventional cellular networks to distributed communication systems is imperative. Cell-free massive multiple-input multiple-output (CF-mMIMO) represents a practical and scalable embodiment of distributed/network MIMO systems. It inherits not only the key benefits of co-located massive MIMO systems but also the macro-diversity gains from distributed systems. This innovative architecture has demonstrated significant potential in enhancing network performance from various perspectives, outperforming co-located mMIMO and conventional small-cell systems. Moreover, CF-mMIMO offers flexibility in integration with emerging wireless technologies such as full-duplex (FD), non-orthogonal transmission schemes, millimeter-wave (mmWave) communications, ultra-reliable low-latency communication (URLLC),  unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)-aided communication, and  reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RISs). In this paper, we provide an overview of current research efforts on CF-mMIMO systems and their promising future application scenarios. We then elaborate on new requirements for CF-mMIMO networks in the context of these technological breakthroughs. We also present several current open challenges and outline future research directions aimed at fully realizing the potential of CF mMIMO systems in meeting the evolving demands of future wireless networks.