CSI-Free vs CSI-Based Multi-Antenna WET for Massive Low-Power Internet of Things

Wireless Energy Transfer (WET) is a promising solution for powering massive Internet of Things deployments. An important question is whether the costly Channel State Information (CSI) acquisition procedure is necessary for optimum performance. In this paper, we shed some light into this matter by evaluating CSI-based and CSI-free multi-antenna WET schemes in a setup with WET in the downlink, and periodic or Poisson-traffic Wireless Information Transfer (WIT) in the uplink. When CSI is available, we show that a maximum ratio transmission beamformer is close to optimum whenever the farthest node experiences at least 3 dB of power attenuation more than the remaining devices. On the other hand, although the adopted CSI-free mechanism is not capable of providing average harvesting gains, it does provide greater WET/WIT diversity with lower energy requirements when compared with the CSI-based scheme. Our numerical results evidence that the CSI-free scheme performs favorably under periodic traffic conditions, but it may be deficient in case of Poisson traffic, specially if the setup is not optimally configured. Finally, we show the prominent performance results when the uplink transmissions are periodic, while highlighting the need of a minimum mean square error equalizer rather than zero-forcing for information decoding.