Special Content: Best Global Stories of Massive MIMO Deployment – Part 1


MIMO deployment uses multiple antennas that are located at both the source (transmitter) and destination (receiver). Those antennas are linked in order to minimize error and increase efficiency of a network.

Massive MIMO, takes MIMO technology and scales it up to hundreds or even thousands of antennas and terminals. These antennas, attached to a base station, focus the transmission and reception of signal energy into small regions of space, providing new levels of efficiency and throughput for the telecoms network.

As the next generation of wireless data networks, or 5G, must address not only future capacity constraints but also existing challenges—such as network reliability, coverage, energy efficiency and latency—with current communication systems. And hence, Massive MIMO, offers significant gains in wireless data rates and link reliability.

It allows for data consumption from more users in a dense area without consuming any more radio spectrum or causing interference. This results in fewer dropped calls, a significant decrease in dead zones, and better quality data transmission, without spreading thin the increasingly scarce radio spectrum.

We are presenting some of the best global stories on Massive MIMO deployments:

Airtel deploys Massive MIMO Pre-5G across IPL match venues
Massive MIMO expands network capacity by 5-7 times on the same spectrum and Airtel customers are enjoying seamless and superfast data speeds despite the very large number of users in and around the stadiums where IPL matches are being played.

Customers can enjoy rich and interactive content on Airtel TV app to add to their in-stadia experience; can share, upload and stream content seamlessly

Airtel – India’s fastest mobile network, is making sure that its customers continue to enjoy superfast data experience on Airtel 4G when they are at Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 match venues.

Airtel has deployed advanced Massive MIMO Pre-5G technology across IPL match venues. Massive MIMO expands existing network capacity by five to seven times over existing spectrum, thereby improving spectral efficiency. Customers are able to to experience superfast data speeds on Airtel’s 4G network despite the very large number of concurrent users on the network sites at the venue.

Speaking on this development, Shyam Mardikar, CTO – Mobile, Bharti Airtel, said, “As part of our endeavour to offer a seamless high speed 4G experience to our customers, we are deploying this advanced Pre-5G solution to enable a high speed and high capacity in-stadia network experience at IPL match venues. We believe this will enhance the digital experience for our customers and enable them to share, post and stream content seamlessly even in locations with massive crowds.”

Airtel was the first mobile operator in India to commercially deploy Massive MIMO.

Globe Taps Huawei to Deploy Commercial FDD Massive MIMO in the Philippines

Philippines Globe Telecom has partnered with Huawei to commence the trial of the world’s first FDD Massive MIMO commercial product.

FDD Massive MIMO is expected to boost cell capacity by a factor of two to three times based on legacy terminals compared to the current LTE deployment.

This enhancement in cell capacity will provide a better experience for more consumers.

Globe began building LTE networks in 2013 and is utilizing LTE technology to provide mobile broadband and fixed wireless broadband services. Mobile data traffic has been growing rapidly driven by increased smartphone penetration.

LTE networks have been the major contributor to this growth over the last few years. Massive MIMO technology can enhance network capacity without adding additional spectrum resources and deferring to the construction of new sites. Massive MIMO is also seen as one of the key technologies for the future 5G era network.

Robert Tan, Chief Technical Advisor of Globe Telecom, said, “We are committed to provide users with high-quality and high-speed connectivity to support their digital lifestyle. Video and rich multimedia content is driving the growth in data demand and the need for a better customer experience. The Massive MIMO technology utilizes spectrum more efficiently and enables us to deliver superior customer experience with a tremendous boost in data capacity to support the exponential growth in wireless data consumption from our increasing base of MBB and WTTx customers. We are glad to see the timely introduction of Huawei’s FDD Massive MIMO commercial products. It is a natural evolution of our network towards the 5G era.”

Veni Shone, President of Huawei’s LTE Product Line, emphasized that “Since the release of commercial TDD Massive MIMO products two years ago, such products have been deployed by over 40 operators. This shows Huawei’s technology accumulation and experience in Massive MIMO deployment. Now, Huawei is launching the FDD Massive MIMO commercial product. This is the most compact product available in the industry, and provides excellent performance and high reliability. We are pleased to see that Globe has chosen Huawei’s Massive MIMO solution to cope with its growing wireless data traffic. It is our hope that Huawei’s active-antenna technologies supporting all RATs and multiple bands can effectively help global operators embrace the era of massive connections and maximize spectral efficiency. We also hope it can effectively facilitate operators’ digital transformation and further support a continuous evolution towards the 5G era.”

Road to 5G: Verizon, Qualcomm, and Ericsson Align to Trial Massive MIMO

Verizon, Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated extended their technology innovation leadership by completing the first successful FDD Massive MIMO trial with a fully compatible customer device.

This achievement builds on the momentum from the deployment of FDD (Frequency Division Duplexing) Massive MIMO (Multiple Input – Multiple Output) on Verizon’s wireless network in Irvine, California.

“We don’t wait for the future, we build it. And this is another great example of moving the industry forward,” says Nicola Palmer, Chief Network Engineer and Head of Wireless Networks, Verizon. “Massive MIMO is a critical component of our 4G LTE Advancements and will play an important role in 5G technology that will result in single digit latency and scalability in the billions of connections.”

In this trial, the three companies used the latest Ericsson Massive MIMO software and hardware on Verizon’s network, along with a mobile test device powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 845 Mobile Platform with X20 LTE using TM9 (Transmission Mode 9). TM9 is an enhancement for consumer devices that will make them fully compatible with Massive MIMO, enabling a better experience.

Massive MIMO is a key technology component in the evolution towards 5G. It has the potential of greatly improving network capacity and the customer’s experience. To realize the gains, both the network and devices need to support new TM9 functionality which leverages advanced beamforming schemes between the network equipment and the mobile device. This will raise network spectral efficiency and customer speeds.

Joe Glynn, vice president, business development, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. says: “This milestone further demonstrates Qualcomm Technologies’ leadership and commitment to continually bring innovative technologies to consumers to improve their mobile experiences. We look forward to continuing our work with Verizon and Ericsson to push the limits of LTE while ushering in a world of 5G.”

Niklas Heuveldop, Head of Market Area North America, Ericsson, says: “Advanced Antenna Systems and Massive MIMO are key technology enablers for 5G, and 4G LTE service providers and end users will also benefit from the superior capacity and network performance these technologies enable. The latest trial is another important step in the collaboration we have with Verizon and Qualcomm Technologies to further evolve 4G and prepare the network for 5G.”

The Ericsson Massive MIMO portfolio is expected to be available next year, putting it well in line with commercial smartphones with the TM9 compatible chipset, which are expected to hit the markets in the first half of 2018.

Road to 5G: ZTE’s Pre5G Massive MIMO Helps Japan’s SoftBank Build a Smart Gym

ZTE Corporation, has helped Japan’s SoftBank Hawks seal a 4-3 victory over its opponent and won the championship at the main venue Yahuoku! Dome during the 2017Japan Series.

When preparing for the match, SoftBank worked with ZTE to deploy Pre5G Massive MIMO 2.0 (antenna 64T64R) after replacing some previous Macro sites at the Fukuoka Yahuoku! Dome.

Faced with high traffic, the MIMO 2.0 solution guaranteed proper communication for the whole championship and served as a comprehensive solution to the coverage, capacity, and user experience problems, helping SoftBank build a smart and high-performance gym network.

As the home field of SoftBank’s Hawks, the Fukuoka Yahuoku! Dome can hold nearly 40,000 people. Held on a magnificent scale, the championship attracted a large audience, with the attendance rate reaching nearly 100%. It also formed a network guarantee scenario with the densest communication and most concentrated services in Fukuoka recently. The high-density traffic raised serious challenges for the capacity of the existing network.

ZTE, which strove to guarantee proper communications services for the championship, carefully deployed onsite communications equipment, applied customized solutions such as simulation, onsite surveys, and optimization of core parameters (Massive MIMO antenna beamforming), and deployed Pre5G Massive MIMO 2.0 products to help SoftBank build a smart and high-performance gym.

In Tokyo, Japan, ZTE and Japan’s SoftBank Group officially signed a memorandum of understanding on joint research and development of Pre5G in July 2015. In September 2016, SoftBank announced that the “5G Project”, a project based on the next-generation high-speed communications standard 5G, was kicked off. SoftBank was the first operator to put the Massive MIMO technology into commercial use, with ZTE being its major supplier.

ZTE’s Pre5G has been highly recognized in the industry. To date, its Pre5G-related products and solutions have been deployed for more than 60 networks in over 40 countries, including China, Japan, Austria, Singapore, Spain, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.

This story first appeared inside the April issue of Disruptive Telecoms – an initiative by TelecomDrive.com