Physical Beam Sharing Multiuser Systems: Beamforming Designs and OTA Testings

Yan Yin He, Hsiao Chien Chen, Shang Ho Tsai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper proposes a novel physical beam sharing system to use few radio-frequency (RF) chains to support more users. The concept of beam sharing is to design a beam pattern to simultaneously benefit all users. In this proposed system, every user can receive a number of data streams equal to the number of RF chains at the base station (BS) and achieve full multiplexing gain. A special design example is that the BS can support multiple users simultaneously even with only one RF chain. As a result, the computational and hardware costs of the BS can be significantly reduced due to the decreased RF chains in deploying a dense communications network. We first derive beamforming designs for this proposed system in a MISO channel with one data stream. Then, the results are further extended to MIMO channels with multiple data streams. Simulation results show that the proposed schemes with the derived solutions outperform conventional systems in several interested parameter settings, and have advantages in terms of fairness and complexity compared with NOMA (non-orthogonal multiple access) systems. Moreover, we also implemented 28 GHz hardware platforms with an 8 × 8 antenna array to verify the feasibility and advantages of the proposed schemes as well as measure the resulting beam patterns. The over-the-air (OTA) testings validate the concept of the proposed physical beam sharing and show that it outperforms conventional physical beamforming schemes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6285-6301
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2022


  • 5G
  • 6G
  • MU-MIMO system
  • OTA testing
  • beam pattern measurement
  • beam sharing
  • beyond 5G
  • hybrid precoding
  • millimeter wave
  • over-the-air
  • physical beamforming


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