We derive an analytical formula for the sum rate of the uplink of a linear network of cells when clustered joint processing is adopted among the base stations in a generalised fading environment. An inter-cluster interference allowance scheme is considered and various user power allocation profiles are investigated in terms of optimal achievable sum rate to highlight that cell-based power allocation is preferable to cluster-based. The contribution of each base station on the cluster sum rate is investigated and its importance is discussed. Numerical results are produced for a real-world scenario showing how medium density systems are the most viable case for clustered system design by achieving > 80% of the global cooperation capacity. Copyright © 2010. ACM.
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