Baseband Signal Compression in Wireless Base Stations
Cavallaro, Joseph R.
To comply with the evolving wireless standards, base stations must provide greater data rates over the serial data link between base station processor and RF unit. This link is especially important in distributed antenna systems and cooperating base stations settings. This paper explores the compression of baseband signal samples prior to transfer over the above-mentioned link. We study lossy and lossless compression of baseband signals and analyze the cost and gain of each approach. Sample quantizing is proposed as a lossy compression scheme and it is shown to be effective by experiments. With QPSK modulation, sample quantizing achieves a compression ratio of 4:1 and 3.5:1 in downlink and uplink, respectively. The corresponding compression ratios are 2.3:1 and 2:1 for 16-QAM. In addition, lossless compression algorithms including arithmetic coding, Elias-gamma coding, and unused significant bit removal, and also a recently proposed baseband signal compression scheme are evaluated. The best compression ratio achieved for lossless compression is 1.5:1 in downlink. Our over-the-air experiments suggest that compression of baseband signal samples is a feasible and promising solution for increasing the effective bit rates of the link to/from remote RF units without requiring much complexity and cost to the base station.
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