URLLC with Massive MIMO: Analysis and Design at Finite Blocklength Articles uri icon

publication date

  • April 2021

start page

  • 6387

end page

  • 6401


  • 10


  • 20

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1536-1276

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1558-2248


  • The fast adoption of Massive MIMO for high-throughput communications was enabled by many research contributions mostly relying on infinite-blocklength information-theoretic bounds. This makes it hard to assess the suitability of Massive MIMO for ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC) operating with short-blocklength codes. This paper provides a rigorous framework for the characterization and numerical evaluation (using the saddlepoint approximation) of the error probability achievable in the uplink and downlink of Massive MIMO at finite blocklength. The framework encompasses imperfect channel state information, pilot contamination, spatially correlated channels, and arbitrary linear spatial processing. In line with previous results based on infinite-blocklength bounds, we prove that, with minimum mean-square error (MMSE) processing and spatially correlated channels, the error probability at finite blocklength goes to zero as the number M of antennas grows to infinity, even under pilot contamination. However, numerical results for a practical URLLC network setup involving a base station with M-100 antennas, show that a target error probability of 10^¿5 can be achieved with MMSE processing, uniformly over each cell, only if orthogonal pilot sequences are assigned to all the users in the network. Maximum ratio processing does not suffice.


  • Telecommunications


  • massive mimo; ultra-reliable low-latency communications; finite blocklength information theory; saddlepoint approximation; outage probability; pilot contamination; mr and mmse processing; asymptotic analysis