The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has awarded patent No. 8,559,879, “Null Pilots for Interference Estimation in a Wireless Communication Network,” to Quallcomm Inc. in San Diego, Calif.
According to background information supplied by the inventors, the patent “relates generally to communication, and more specifically to techniques for estimating interference in a wireless communication network.”
“Techniques for transmitting null pilots to support interference estimation in a wireless network are described. A null pilot is non-transmission on designated time-frequency resources by a cell or a cluster of cells supporting cooperative transmission to a UE,” the inventors explain in the patent’s abstract. “The received power of the null pilot from the cell or cluster of cells may be indicative of interference from other cells. In one design, a cell in the cluster may determine resources for sending a null pilot by the cell. The cell may transmit the null pilot (i.e., send no transmissions) on the resources to allow UEs to estimate out-of-cluster interference. Some or all cells in the cluster may transmit null pilots on the same resources. The cell may receive interference and channel information from the UE and may send data transmission to the UE based on the interference and/or channel information. Remaining cells in the cluster may reduce interference to the UE.”