Through multi-user beamforming and with lower path loss at lower frequency bands, TV White Space (TVWS) massive MIMO holds a great potential for providing affordable, high-capacity wireless connectivity to sparsely distributed users in rural regions. In collaboration with Skylark Wireless, ARA employs the Faros TVWS massive MIMO platform to enable research in high-capacity wireless communications across large geographical areas (e.g., with a cell radius up to 10 km). In particular, through its rich APIs for the measurement and control of the production-grade massive MIMO system Faros, ARA enables high-fidelity, programmable studies of TVWS massive MIMO in real-world application settings, and it opens up a realm of experimental possibilities, ranging from characterizing the impact of multi-user beamforming on network capacity to piloting applications such as agriculture automation, thus enabling the co-evolution of advanced wireless and applications.

The following figures demonstrate the field deployment of the Skylark Faros massive MIMO platform in ARA, as well as the system architecture for remote experiments.

Key Features of ARA TVWS Massive MIMO Infrastructure

  • Extended Reach: Leveraging multi-user beamforming and the TVWS spectrum, ARA TVWS massive MIMO offers an affordable solution for high-capacity connectivity over large geographical areas, making it ideal for rural wireless applications.
  • Programmability & Performance: ARA TVWS massive MIMO integrates programmability with production-quality robustness and performance, ensuring a user-friendly experience for both wireless experimentation and real-world application pilots.
  • Application Exploration: ARA TVWS massive MIMO is not just for wireless connectivity. It’s a gateway to exploring innovative applications such as agriculture automation, rural education, public-safety, and community services, thus co-shaping the future of rural broadband.
  • Remote Access & Experimentation Workflow: ARA provides an intuitive experimentation workflow and supports remote access, making it an invaluable tool for a wide range of wireless experiments and applications.

APIs and Enabled Experiments

While the internal architecture and software functions of the ARA TVWS massive MIMO system are transparent to end-users, it offers extensive research capabilities through the Modding and Wrapper APIs.

  • Modding APIs: These APIs allow researchers to delve into user-defined massive MIMO algorithms (e.g., those for user grouping and scheduling), opening new avenues for research at the PHY and MAC layers.
  • Wrapper APIs: These APIs provide access to crucial KPI parameters such as data rates, CSI, SNR, Rx power levels, MCS, decode rates, and bus rates. They also offer control over wireless parameters such as frequency, bandwidth, gains, MCS, number of layers, and user grouping.

For a detailed discussion on the modding and wrapper APIs, as well as an in-depth discussion on the architecture and experiment workflow, please refer to our article on ARA TVWS massive MIMO. Available APIs and example experiments can be found in the comprehensive user manual on ARA TVWS massive MIMO and example experiments.