IEEE/CIC International Conference on Communications in China
28–30 July 2021 // Xiamen, China

Beyond Massive-MIMO Workshop (Be-MM)

Scopes and Topics:

Multiple antenna technologies have attracted much research interest for several decades and have gradually made their way into mainstream communication systems. The latest instantiation of multiple antenna technologies is Massive MIMO, which became a reality in 5G. In a few years, Massive MIMO with fully digital transceivers will be a mainstream feature at both sub-6 GHz and millimeter Wave frequencies. However, this is not the end of the multiple antenna technologies development, but only the end of the beginning. As access to wireless connectivity becomes critical in our everyday lives, our expectations of ubiquitous coverage and service quality continue to grow. It is thus time for the research community to look for the next wave of technologies to meet the immensely higher data rate, reliability, and traffic demands in the beyond 5G era. Radically new approaches based on Electromagnetic Information Theory (EIT), Reconfigurable Intelligent Surface (RIS) and Near-field Spherical Wave (NSW) are required to achieve orders-of-magnitude improvements in these metrics. There will be large technical challenges, many of which are yet to be identified.

Massive MIMO was introduced in 2010 by the seminal work of Thomas Marzetta. A solid theory for Massive MIMO has been developed in recent years, thanks to the contributions of many researchers in academia and industry. A large number of communications, signal processing, and optimization algorithms have been developed over the years and it remains to be seen which ones will work well in practice. Modeling simplifications that have been made in academia (e.g., block-fading channels with stochastic small-scale fading or deterministic channel models with angular sparsity) might prevent a straightforward transfer from theory to practical implementation. Before the product developers have had the chance to try out the existing algorithms, it is hard to tell what further algorithmic development is actually needed. The MIMO research community should certainly support the product developers in their efforts to implement existing algorithms under practical, hardware-related and regulatory constraints. At the same time, it is important to initiate more forward-looking research that considers new applications of antenna arrays that might become the foundation for beyond 5G era. As access to wireless connectivity becomes critical in our everyday lives, our expectations of ubiquitous coverage and service quality continue to grow. It is thus time for the research community to look at new theories to meet the immensely higher data rate, reliability, and traffic demands in the beyond 5G era. Radically new approaches are required to achieve orders-of-magnitude improvements in these metrics. There will be large technical challenges, many of which are yet to be identified.

This workshop aims for bringing together information field and electromagnetic field researchers to share the recent breakthroughs related to Massive-MIMO and beyond. The topic of interes include, but not limited to

  • Identify the limit of Massive MIMO and offer new multiple antenna technologies to meet the demands in the beyond 5G era.
    • Information theory for multi antenna technologies,
    • Information theory for near-field spherical wave,
    • Electrodynamics theory in wireless communication,
    • Crossroads between Shannon and Maxwell theory,
  • Learn the fundamentals and distribute the latest results of the forward-looking research directions that have recently flourished to push further the limits of multiple antenna technologies. Among them:
    • large intelligent surfaces,
    • extremely large aperture arrays,
    • holographic Massive MIMO,
    • intelligent reflecting surfaces,
    • scalable cell-free Massive MIMO networks,
  • How will multiple antenna technologies evolve in the future and what else can we use the high spatial resolution of for beyond Massive MIMO?
    • New mechanism antenna for beyond 5G era,
    • New mechanism circuit design in wireless signal processing,
    • Computational electromagnetics in wireless communication and channel modeling

Workshop Organizers:

Guanghua Yang, Wireless Technology Laboratory, Huawei Technologies Co.,Ltd, email:

Merouane Debbah, Paris Research Center, Huawei Technologies, Co.,Ltd., email:

Lixin Guo, Xidian University, China, email:

Angel Lozano, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain,

Erik Larsson, Linkoping University, Sweden,

Emil Bjornson, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden,

Michalis Matthaiou, Queen’s University Belfast, UK,

Hien Quoc Ngo, Queen’s University Belfast, UK,

Mohamed-Slim Alouini, King Abdullah University, Saudi Arabia,

Chau Yuen, Singapore University, Singapore,

Stefano Buzzi, University of Cassino, Italy,

Luca Sanguinetti, Pisa University, Italy,

Alessio Zappone, University of Cassino, Italy,

Wei Sha, Zhejiang University, China,

Xiqi Gao, Southeast University, China, email:

Junwei Wu, Southeast University, China, email:

Pinyi Ren, Xi’an Jiaotong University, China, email:

Wenyi Zhang, USTC, China, email:

Xieofeng Tao, BUPT, China, email:

Jin Xu, BUPT, China, email:

Lingyang Song, Beijing University, China, email:

Fenghan Lin, ShanghaiTech University, China, email:

Rui Ni, Wireless Technology Laboratory, Huawei Technologies Co.,Ltd, email:

Invited Keynote Speakers:

Keynote Speaker 1:

Luca Sanguinetti, Pisa University, Italy,

Prof. Luca Sanguinetti received the Laurea Telecommunications Engineer degree (cum laude) and the Ph.D. degree in information engineering from the University of Pisa, Italy, in 2002 and 2005, respectively. From June 2007 to June 2008, he was a Postdoctoral Associate with the Department of Electrical Engineering, Princeton. From July 2013 to October 2017, he was with the Large Systems and Networks Group (LANEAS), CentraleSupélec, France. He is currently an Associate Professor with the Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Informazione, University of Pisa. His expertise and general interests span the areas of communications and signal processing He has coauthored two textbooks: “Massive MIMO Networks: Spectral, Energy, and Hardware Efficiency’’ (2017) and “Foundations of User-centric Cell-free Massive MIMO’’ (2020). Dr. Sanguinetti received the Marconi Prize Paper Award in Wireless Communications in 2018. He served as an Associate Editor for IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS and IEEE SIGNAL PROCESSING LETTERS. Dr. Sanguinetti is currently serving as an Associate Editor for the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON COMMUNICATIONS and is a member of the Executive Editorial Committee of IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS. He’s the general chair of SPAWC 2021 (Lucca, June 2021), and also the executive vice-chair of ICC 2023 (Rome, May 2023). He is an IEEE Senior Member.

Title: Holographic MIMO Communications      (by Prof. Luca Sanguinetti)

Abstract: Imagine a MIMO communication system that fully exploits the propagation characteristics offered by an electromagnetic channel and ultimately approaches the limits imposed by wireless communications. This is the concept of Holographic MIMO communications. Accurate and tractable channel modeling is critical to understanding its full potential. Classical stochastic models used by communications theorists are derived under the electromagnetic far-field assumption. However, such assumption breaks down when large (compared to the wavelength) antenna arrays are considered. In this talk, we start from the first principles of wave propagation and provide a Fourier plane-wave series expansion of the channel response, which fully captures the essence of electromagnetic propagation in arbitrary scattering and is also valid in the (radiative) near-field. The expansion is based on the Fourier spectral representation and has an intuitive physical interpretation, as it statistically describes the angular coupling between source and receiver. When discretized, it leads to a low-rank semi-unitarily equivalent approximation of the spatial electromagnetic channel in the angular domain. The developed channel model is used to compute the ergodic capacity of a Holographic MIMO system with different degrees of channel state information.

Keynote Speaker 2:

Wei Sha, Zhejiang University, China,

Wei E. I. Sha received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electronic engineering from Anhui University, Hefei, China, in 2003 and 2008, respectively. From 2008 to 2017, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and then, a Research Assistant Professor with the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. From 2018 to 2019, he was a Marie-Curie Individual Fellow with University College London. In 2017, he joined the College of Information Science and Electronic Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, where he is currently a tenure-tracked Assistant Professor. He has authored or co-authored 150 refereed journal papers, 130 conference publications (including a short course at IEEE NEMO 2019, a keynote talk at ICMMT 2021, and 30 invited talks), 6 book chapters (from IEEE, Wiley, Springer Publishers), and 2 books. His Google Scholar citations are 6180 with an h-index of 37. His current research interests include theoretical and computational research in electromagnetics, focusing on the interdisciplinary areas, and fundamental and applied aspects in 5G/6G communications, optoelectronic devices, and quantum information. He is a Senior Member of IEEE and the First Chair of IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society Zhejiang Chapter. He served as an Associate Editor of IEEE Open Journal of Antennas and Propagation and as a Guest Editor for the IEEE Journal on Multiscale and Multiphysics Computational Techniques. He received the Second Prize of Science and Technology from the Anhui Province Government, China, in 2015, the Thousand Talents Program for Distinguished Young Scholars of China, in 2007, and 5 Best Student Paper Prizes with his students.

Title: A New Look at Maxwell’s Equations with Shannon-Hartley Theorem      (by Prof. Wei Sha)

Abstract: Maxwell’s equations govern the physical processes of transmission, radiation, scattering, absorption, and reception of electromagnetic waves. The Shannon-Hartley theorem gives the upper bound on bit rate of information transmitted over a communication channel with a predefined bandwidth in the presence of noise. In my presentation, I will take a new look at the Maxwell’s equations with the Shannon-Hartley Theorem.  Firstly, recent advances in three essentials of Maxwell’s equations, involving constitutional parameters, modes, and boundary conditions, will be shortly reviewed. Particularly, I will mainly discuss whether the technical advances will improve the channel capacity of a multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) system.  Secondly, the Green’s tensor in electromagnetic theory will be connected to the channel matrix in information theory. Moreover, I will show the excitation, conversion, and coupling of modes play a fundamental role in information transmission.  Finally, quantum electromagnetics and its applications in future communications will be introduced. This presentation aims at motivating a cutting-edge and interdisciplinary research area bridging electromagnetics and communication.

Important Dates:

paper submission deadline: June 10 June 20 (firm deadline)

notification of acceptance: July 10

camera-ready : July 20
EDAS submission link: