Secrecy and energy efficiency in massive MIMO aided heterogeneous C-RAN: a new look at interference

In this paper, we investigate the potential benefits of the massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) enabled heterogeneous cloud radio access network (C-RAN) in terms of the secrecy and energy efficiency (EE). In this network, both remote radio heads (RRHs) and massive MIMO macrocell base stations are deployed and soft fractional frequency reuse is adopted to mitigate the intertier interference. We first examine the physical layer security by deriving the area ergodic secrecy rate and secrecy outage probability. Our results reveal that the use of massive MIMO and C-RAN can greatly improve the secrecy performance. For C-RAN, a large number of RRHs achieves high area ergodic secrecy rate and low-secrecy outage probability, due to its powerful interference management. We find that for massive MIMO aided macrocells, having more antennas and serving more users improves secrecy performance. Then, we derive the EE of the heterogeneous C-RAN, illustrating that increasing the number of RRHs significantly enhances the network EE. Furthermore, it is indicated that allocating more radio resources to the RRHs can linearly increase the EE of RRH tier and improve the network EE without affecting the EE of the macrocells.