Massive MIMO technique offers significant performance gains for the future of wireless communications via improving the spectral efficiency, energy efficiency and the channel quality with simple linear processing such as maximum-ratio transmission (MRT) or zero-forcing (ZF) by providing each user a large degree of freedom. In this paper, the system performance gains are studied in a multi-cell downlink massive MIMO system under the main considerations such as perfect channel estimation, imperfect channel estimation and the effect of interference among cells due to pilot sequences contamination. Then, mathematical expressions are derived for these gains i.e., spatial multiplexing gain, array gain and spatial diversity gain. After that, essential tradeoffs among these gains are considered under the effect of non-orthogonal interference, these tradeoffs are: spatial diversity gain vs. spatial multiplexing gain and array gain vs. spatial multiplexing gain. Simulation results show that the unbounded number of base station antennas boosts the array gain through concentrating the energy to spatial directions where users are sited, hence diminishing loss in array gain due to pilot contamination. The simulation results reveal also that massive MIMO strengthens the spatial multiplexing gain through increasing the number of served users via the same system resources in spite the effect of inter-cell interference. Finally, the spatial diversity gain is measured in term of outage probability and the simulation results show that raising the number of antennas will improve the outage probability. Meanwhile increasing the number of served users will lead to degrade the outage probability per user due to non-orthogonal interference from other cells.
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