Large-scale distributed-antenna system (L-DAS) with very large number of distributed antennas, possibly up to a few hundred antennas, is considered. A few major issues of the L-DAS, such as high latency, energy consumption, computational complexity, and large feedback (signaling) overhead, are identified. The potential capability of the L-DAS is illuminated in terms of an energy efficiency (EE) throughout the paper. We firstly and generally model the power consumption of an L-DAS, and formulate an EE maximization problem. To tackle two crucial issues, namely the huge computational complexity and large amount of feedback (signaling) information, we propose a channel-gain-based
antenna selection (AS) method and an interference-based user clustering (UC) method. The original problem is then split into multiple subproblems by a cluster, and each cluster’s precoding and power control are managed in parallel for high EE. Simulation results reveal that i) using all antennas for zero-forcing multiuser multiple-input multiple-output (MU-MIMO) is energy inefficient if there is nonnegligible overhead power consumption on MU-MIMO processing, and ii) increasing the number of
antennas does not necessarily result in a high EE. Furthermore, the results validate and underpin the EE merit of the proposed L-DAS complied with the AS, UC, precoding, and power control by comparing with non-clustering L-DAS and colocated antenna systems.