At the MWC Americas, Sprint and Ericsson unveiled results of 2.5 GHz Massive MIMO field tests conducted in Seattle, Washington and Plano, Texas using Sprint’s spectrum and Ericsson’s 64T64R (64 transmit, 64 receive) radios.
The two companies are preparing for commercial deployment next year, with Massive MIMO radios capable of increasing Sprint’s network capacity up to ten times.
“Massive MIMO is a game changer for adding capacity to our network and taking LTE Plus to the next level,” said Dr. John Saw, Sprint CTO. “This technology is a tremendous competitive advantage for Sprint, enabling us to maximize our deep 2.5 GHz spectrum holdings. Massive MIMO will be key to meeting our customers’ growing demand for unlimited data, as well as offering Gigabit LTE and 5G services.”
According to Sprint, testing of Massive MIMO on the Sprint LTE Plus network in downtown Seattle showed a capacity increase of approximately four times compared to an 8T8R antenna. To showcase this capacity, Sprint convened 100 people with Samsung Galaxy S7 phones and ran simultaneous file downloads on a timed-test on all networks.
At the same event, Sprint also partnered Samsung to showcase their recent test of the technology earlier this year in Suwon, South Korea. There, the companies tested Massive MIMO on the 2.5 GHz spectrum in the real-world environment.
Sprint wrote test cases and scenarios, and Samsung provided the infrastructure, network design, operation, data collection, and data processing resources. The test demonstrated the high potential of Massive MIMO to deliver gigabit LTE services in dynamic, urban environments.