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  • Camera_Ready_IRS_vs_DF_5G

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The impact of 5G channel models on the performance of intelligent reflecting surfaces and decode-and-forward relaying

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Forthcoming
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Abstract

An intelligent reflecting surface (IRS) is an array of discrete elements with configurable scattering properties. It has the capability to beamform arriving radio waves to an intended receiver, making it an attractive candidate technology for fifth-generation (5G) communications. A recent study debunked the notion that IRSs can replace relays because a large number of IRS elements is required even to approach the performance of simple single-antenna decode-and-forward (DF) relays. The study introduced 4G channel models into a theoretical framework to obtain simulation results, based on which comparisons between the two schemes were carried out. In this paper, we consider 5G channel models, reflect on the revised results, and argue that IRSs and DF relays can complement each other's strengths and can both have a place in 5G and beyond 5G architectures.