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Rate-Splitting Multiple Access Unifying NOMA and SDMA in MISO VLC Channels

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Document pages: 19 pages

Abstract: The increased proliferation of connected devices requires a paradigm shifttowards the development of innovative technologies for the next generation ofwireless systems. One of the key challenges, however, is the spectrum scarcity,owing to the unprecedented broadband penetration rate in recent years. Visiblelight communications (VLC) has recently emerged as a possible solution toenable high-speed short-range communications. However, VLC systems suffer fromseveral limitations, including the limited modulation bandwidth oflight-emitting diodes. Consequently, several multiple access techniques (MA),e.g., space-division multiple access (SDMA) and non-orthogonal multiple access(NOMA), have been considered for VLC networks. Despite their promisingmultiplexing gains, their performance is somewhat limited. In this article, wefirst provide an overview of the key MA technologies used in VLC systems. Then,we introduce rate-splitting multiple access (RSMA), which was initiallyproposed for RF systems and discuss its potentials in VLC systems. Throughsystem modeling and simulations of an RSMA-based two-use scenario, weillustrate the flexibility of RSMA in generalizing NOMA and SDMA, as well asits superiority in terms of weighted sum rate (WSR) in VLC. Finally, we discusschallenges, open issues, and research directions, which will enable thepractical realization of RSMA in VLC.

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