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International Journal of Antennas and Propagation
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 918315, 13 pages
Research Article

User Effects on MIMO Performance: From an Antenna to a Link Perspective

Advanced Technology, Research In Motion Limited, Water loo, ON, Canada N2L 3W8

Received 18 January 2011; Revised 9 May 2011; Accepted 15 June 2011

Academic Editor: Zhongxiang Q. Shen

Copyright © 2011 Shirook M. Ali et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We investigate in this paper the effects of the user's presence on the performance of a multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) system in data and in voice usage scenarios. The investigation studies the user effects on the antenna performance and how these are incorporated into the MIMO channel and the link characteristics. The antennas and the user are deterministic. These are then integrated into the statistical 3GPP spatial channel model (SCM) for a typical macrocell propagation environment setting. The channel performance is analyzed based on the average channel capacity, the average power transfer, the correlation, and the cumulative distribution function of the channel capacity as well as the link throughout and the error performance. The mentioned channel and link properties are tied to the MIMO antenna properties that are represented in the mutual coupling between the antennas, the power loss, the total radiated power, the mean effective gain (MEG), as well as the efficiency with emphasis on how the user affects each. It was found that the presence of the user contributed to a loss of up to 50% in the average channel power transfer. The data position was found to be the lowest in terms of channel capacity performance. The voice position performance showed a large dependence on the user orientation with respect to the line of sight path while the data position showed less dependence on the user's orientation. We also discuss through the examined antenna and channel properties the importance of the channel multipath on the MIMO performance. In some scenarios, it was found that a well-conditioned channel can compensate for losses due to the presence of the user, improving the overall system performance. The presented investigation at the link level also discusses the user effects in different MIMO transmission schemes.