Sprint, Nokia Demo Massive MIMO with 3D Beamforming at MWC

28 February 2017
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Sprint, Nokia Demo Massive MIMO with 3D Beamforming at MWC Image Credit: Nokia

Sprint and Nokia demonstrated massive MIMO technology which can boost cell capacity by eight times compared to 4G LTE at Mobile World Congress on Monday.

The joint demonstration, makes Sprint the first U.S. operator to demonstrate massive MIMO for TDD-LTE spectrum with 64T64R, for both the downlink and uplink on an existing LTE frequency. 

Massive MIMO, a key element of 5G, can enable LTE network performance well beyond 1Gbps.  Nokia’s newly launched AirScale massive MIMO Adaptive Antenna is part of the company’s 4.9G technology, which provides significant increases in capacity, lower latency and several Gigabits of speed-per-second on the path to 5G. The AirScale massive MIMO Adaptive Antenna is a milestone, driving capacity increases for megacity deployments and service continuity with 5G.

The Mobile World Congress demonstration uses 3D Beamforming software to deliver throughput gains of up to eightfold uplink and fivefold downlink. Eight commercially available devices operating on Sprint’s 2.5 GHz TDD-LTE band 41 spectrum will be used. Massive MIMO takes MIMO technology and scales it up, using 64T64R as compared to 2T2R/4T4R/8T8R in a typical 4G LTE network, but in a relatively compact commercial form.

Nokia said these antennas, attached to a base station, focus the transmission and reception of signal energy into small regions of space. This provides new levels of spectral efficiency and throughput, and allows data consumption from more users in a dense area without requiring more radio spectrum or causing interference. As such, massive MIMO is one of the key elements of 5G that delivers the needed high capacity, especially in the most densely populated locations such as city centers and high-rise buildings. 

Gunther Ottendorfer, COO of Technology, Sprint
Working with Nokia to deliver massive MIMO is a competitive advantage for Sprint because it is more easily deployed on 2.5 GHz spectrum due to the smaller form factor of the radios, and it’s an important innovation that will take advantage of our deep spectrum holdings.

Ricky Corker, Head of North America, Nokia 
The significant cell capacity massive MIMO offers is why the technology will play a central role in 5G. Sprint can keep delivering the capacity its customers need, both now and in the future.

Ray is a news editor at The Fast Mode, bringing with him more than 10 years of experience in the wireless industry.

For tips and feedback, email Ray at ray.sharma(at)thefastmode.com, or reach him on LinkedIn @raysharma10, Facebook @1RaySharma

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