submitted to IEEE Transactions on Communications, Dec., 2011.
Providing uniformly high capacity in cellular systems is challenging due to fading, path-loss, and interference. A partial solution to this problem is the deployment of distributed antenna systems, where transmission points are distributed throughout the cell using coax or fiber. This article reviews distributed antenna systems and provides both an academic and industrial perspective on their current and future applications. A key observation is that distributed antenna systems are evolving to leverage multiple input multiple output (MIMO) communication, and multiuser MIMO to provide higher performance on the downlink. In this article, current research trends in distributed antennas are described along with current progress on their integration into commercial wireless cellular standards.