We study a vertical beamforming technique for multiple-input multiple-output downlink multi-user systems. In general, the transmit antenna gain is controlled by adjusting the bore sight of antennas in directional antennas, and thus the cell average rate varies according to the angle of the bore sight. First, we compute the tilting angles for directional antenna systems which maximize the cell average rate. To this end, the probability density function of a three-dimensional user distribution is derived. Based on the result, we analyze the average rate gain of active antenna systems over passive antenna systems for a single user case. Furthermore, for a multi-user active antenna system, beamforming designs to maximize the weighted sum rate are proposed by optimizing the transmit antenna gain and power allocation. Since finding joint optimal parameters requires prohibitively high computational complexity, we separate the optimization problem into two sub-problems of the vertical beamforming and the power allocation. Then a simple vertical beamforming algorithm based on a high signal-to-noise ratio assumption is presented. Also, for a multi-user passive antenna system, we provide a beamforming scheme based on a multi-sector concept. Simulation results show that the proposed beamforming schemes outperform the conventional beamforming schemes. |