Tag Archives: MIMO

Going Massive with MIMO in preperation for 5G

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Massive MIMO is a key technology that helps significantly increase network capacity and spectral efficiency while reducing wireless network interference, ultimately improving the end-user experience. Find out more about this critical technology as well as Ericsson’s latest 5G developments and deployments.

People are watching, sharing, and streaming video and music more than ever – putting increasing demands on speed. Ericsson has analyzed 4G network performance statistics from metropolitan areas around the world, and found that the probability of a smart device suffering from insufficient speed can be as high as 20 percent during peak hours. By 2023, mobile data traffic is expected to reach 110 Exabytes per month, which corresponds to 5.5 million years of HD video streaming. This anticipated surge in mobile data traffic will require even greater capacity in networks. Massive MIMO can help bridge the transition from 4G to 5G, adding intelligent capacity and boosting user experience.

What is Massive MIMO and why is it so important?

Massive Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output (MIMO) is a wireless technology that uses multiple transmitters and receivers in a minimum 16X16 array to transfer more data. The technology plays an increasingly critical role in the evolution of 4G networks toward 5G, delivering the higher capacity, spectral efficiency, and faster speeds that operators and subscribers are demanding.

Ericsson leads the way with comprehensive portfolio

Ericsson is at the forefront of this technology, with first-mover operators already trialing the technology as they evolve their networks from 4G to 5G. In August 2016, we unveiled the world’s first commercially available 5G New Radio (NR). Called Ericsson AIR 6468, it features 64 transmit and 64 receive antennas enabling it to support our 5G Plug-Ins for both Massive MIMO and Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO).

The portfolio of 5G radios for Massive MIMO is bolstered with new mid-band and high-band versions (AIR 6488 and AIR 5121). AIR 3246, which will be commercially launched this year, is our first 5G NR for frequency division duplex (FDD), giving Ericsson a complete portfolio of 5G radios for Massive MIMO.

Trials around the world

To enable a 5G future, mobile operators must start evolving their networks to support new 5G technology concepts, while also investing in their LTE networks. LTE is forecast to reach 5.5 billion subscriptions by the end of 2023, and it will play a strong role in tomorrow’s 5G networks. Ericsson 5G Plug-Ins make it easier for operators to evolve their networks. These are software-driven innovations that are based on many of the breakthrough capabilities developed in Ericsson’s 5G Radio Test Bed and 5G Radio Prototypes, which are already deployed in operator field trials.

Throughout 2017, Ericsson conducted trials with leading operators around the world with Massive MIMO functionality both on commercial 4G/LTE networks and in pre-standard 5G radio demonstrations.

Ericsson has been working with Singtel to trial Massive MIMO on the operator’s network since February 2017. The two companies first signed a 5G Memorandum of Understanding in January 2015 and were the first to show a 5G system in Southeast Asia in August 2016, achieving a downlink speed of 27.5Gbps.

In October 2017, Ericsson and SmarTone conducted a FDD Massive MIMO trial on 1800 MHz, representing the first of its kind for operators in Hong Kong.

Plans were also announced with SoftBank Corp. to conduct a joint end-to-end trial of 5G in the 4.5GHz band in urban areas of Japan that would include deploying two 5G New Radios with Massive MIMO functionality.

In the US, operator Sprint and Ericsson tested advanced radio capabilitieswith an eye on the upcoming commercial 5G deployment in the country. At Mobile World Congress Americas, results were unveiled of the first US 2.5GHz Massive MIMO field tests using Sprint’s spectrum and Ericsson’s New Radios. Commercial deployment is planned for 2018, with Massive MIMO radios providing a significant increase in network capacity.

Telefónica-owned operator Movistar and Ericsson have brought the first 5G test system to Argentina. Base stations and device prototypes were used to show advanced 5G technologies, including Massive MIMO, massive beamforming, Distributed MIMO, Multi-user MIMO, and beam tracking.

In Europe, Vodafone UK and Ericsson, in partnership with King’s College London, successfully tested standalone pre-standard 5G using a prototype device in a central London 3.5 GHz spectrum field trial. This trial displayed the capabilities of many technologies, including Massive MIMO.

And, towards the end of 2017, Verizon, Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. completed a  successful FDD Massive MIMO trial with a fully compatible customer device.

Essential for 5G

Ericsson’s recent trials with leading operators and ICT players prove Massive MIMO’s importance in network evolution to 5G, and show the value operator’s place on the technology as a key enabler for 5G.

In Ericsson’s latest 5G Readiness Survey, which compiles 5G-related plans and activities among operators, 82 percent of technical respondents chose Massive MIMO and MU-MIMO as essential for 5G.

The report also shows that many operators have accelerated preparations for the new technology, and 5G trials are being carried out by 78 percent of the respondents. Furthermore, 28 percent of the respondents expect to deploy 5G during 2018.

Want to know more about Massive MIMO?

It’s clear that 5G is upon us, and technologies such as Massive MIMO help accelerate operator plans and make the next-generation wireless networks a reality. For more information about the technology components that enable Massive MIMO, check out this paper from the European 5G project Mobile and Wireless Communication Enablers for the 2020 Information Society (METIS).

Discover more about how Massive MIMO improves the end-user experience, significantly increase network capacity and coverage, while reducing wireless network interference.

Verizon and Ericsson team up to deploy Massive MIMO

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Verizon and Ericsson reached another milestone in 4G LTE Advanced Technologies that will also serve as a stepping stone to 5G technology by completing their first deployment of FDD (Frequency Division Duplexing) Massive MIMO (Multiple Input – Multiple Output) on Verizon’s wireless network in Irvine, CA.

This deployment will improve both spectral and energy efficiency, increasing network capacity for current devices in the market.  Further significant enhancements are expected to come as new devices evolve toward 5G.  For customers, the result will be higher and more consistent speeds for using apps and uploading and downloading files.

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“While continuing to drive 5G development, the deployment of Massive MIMO offers very tangible benefits for our customers today.  As we innovate, we learn and continue to lay the groundwork and set the standards for 5G technology,” said Nicola Palmer, Chief Network Officer of Verizon Wireless.  “Our collaboration with Ericsson on this new deployment continues to drive industry-wide innovation and advancements.”

Today’s Massive MIMO deployment involves 16 transceiver radio units driving an array of 96 antenna elements supplied by Ericsson.  The deployment is running on a 20 MHz block of AWS spectrum.  Four way transmit has been widely deployed throughout the Verizon network and has contributed to significant 4G LTE advancements.  In Massive MIMO – the next step of antenna array evolution – the high number of transmitters enables more possible signal paths.  It also enables beamforming, which directs the beam from the cell site directly to where the customer is, dramatically cutting down on interference.  Reduced interference results in higher and more consistent speeds for customers.

Niklas Heuveldop, Head of Market Area North America at Ericsson, said: “Massive MIMO is a key technology enabler for 5G, but already today, 4G LTE service providers and end users can benefit from the superior capacity and network performance this technology enables.  The current trial is an important step in the collaboration we have with Verizon to prepare their network for 5G.”

As part of an Intelligent Edge Network that processes data where it’s generated, this Massive MIMO deployment is another step in technological innovation and leadership. As Verizon begins deploying Massive MIMO in the future throughout the network in places where there are capacity needs, customers with compatible devices will automatically begin taking advantage of this technological advancement.

Source: Ericsson

 

Vodafone UK selects Ericsson technology to evolve London network

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  • Ericsson has been selected to provide Massive MIMO and Carrier aggregation technology to help Vodafone UK evolve its 4G network in southern England
  • In addition, Ericsson has been selected to provide Vodafone UK with 5G Radio technology to prepare for the introduction of 5G in the region

Vodafone UK has selected Ericsson  to evolve its 4G networks in London and southern England using technologies such as Massive MIMO and Carrier Aggregation, which will help deliver improved capacity and end-user performance.

Massive MIMO technology utilizes advanced antenna arrays to improve the quality of radio signals and capacity, while Carrier Aggregation combines different cellular frequencies to increase capacity and user data rates.

The scope of the agreement includes technology trials, product validation and commercial deployment, as well as professional services.

Jorge Fernandes, Technology Director, Vodafone UK, says: “We are continually enhancing our network to optimize performance and give our customers the best possible experience. We will continue to expand our 4G network and develop greater capabilities for our customers. We look forward to continuing to work with Ericsson in order to achieve our goals.”

Arun Bansal, Head of Europe and Latin America, Ericsson, says: “We are working with Vodafone UK to evolve its 4G network and test new 5G technologies. Together we will enable ubiquitous connectivity for their users that enable entirely new experiences, as well as monitoring and control of IoT in real time.”

Ericsson and Vodafone have also signed a memorandum of understanding that will cover the following areas of collaboration:

  • 4G evolution, 5G radio non-standalone and standalone;
  • 5G site deployment scenarios;
  • NR simulations: 3.5 GHz and mmWave;
  • 5G use-cases: business case study and proof of concept;
  • distributed cloud and network slicing proof of concept: end-to-end latency and cloud- optimized network applications;
  • collaboration with King’s College London; and
  • 5G innovation: Technology Incubation Programme.

Source: Ericsson

Vodafone and Huawei Trial New 4.5G Technologies to Prepare for 5G

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Vodafone and Huawei Trial New 4.5G Technologies to Prepare for 5G

 Vodafone UK and Huawei are conducting technical trials of a new mobile technology, 4.5G (TDD+) with LTE TDD, to significantly increase the capacity and efficiency of its 4G network in urban areas, as well as lay the foundations for the introduction of 5G by 2020.

New 4*4 MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) techniques eight-way transmit and receive (8T8R), together with multi-user beam-forming are being tested in Manchester. These will support the expected rapid growth in video and virtual reality applications with the arrival of next generation smartphones.

Unlike traditional methods of transmitting mobile signals between base stations and mobiles, beam forming and four-way receiver diversity significantly improve performance in heavily built up areas, by combining the signals from multiple angles and co-located antennas in order to reduce interference and improve throughput. The trial involves 4×4 versions of MIMO in order to deliver mobile data services at much greater speeds and with improved accuracy. The 8T8R beamforming concentrates the user-specific energy and multiplexes the resource between different users, thus increasing the average as well as the edge performance.

By combining MIMO with beam-forming, Vodafone is better able to focus customers’ mobile signals in specific directions to ensure the best user experience and minimise interference during peak times in highly populated areas. As a result, more signal reaches more subscribers particularly at the edge of the base station coverage, in order to provide higher average speeds across the network.

Vodafone UK’s Chief Technology Officer, Jorge Fernandes, said: “We are working hard with our radio network equipment partners to ensure our network is future-proofed for the expected arrival of 5G in four to five years’ time, whilst continually improving our 4G performance for customers throughout the UK.”

Huawei LTE TDD President, Veni Shone, said: “This joint innovation with Vodafone has proved that 4.5G (TDD+) is a good solution to release the potential of TDD spectrum and will help Vodafone build the most advanced LTE network available. We are very proud of this collaboration, and are dedicated to providing optimal solutions to customers. The newly deployed LTE TDD network immediately serves the LTE TDD capable commercial smartphones and successfully carries significant live network traffic. This trial proves that LTE TDD with the most recent technologies can be naturally converged with LTE FDD and improve the overall experience enjoyed by all users on the network.”

Source: Huawei