Massive MIMO trial brings 5G closer

Thursday, 02 March, 2017

Massive MIMO trial brings 5G closer

A successful trial of massive MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) technology has been carried out by Optus and Huawei.

The trial achieved aggregate cell throughput of 665 Mbps over a single-frequency channel of 20 MHz on Optus’ 2300 MHz frequency band, shared by 16 devices.

It also demonstrated an aggregated speed improvement of up to eight times what is currently being experienced through existing 4G cell sites. It significantly increased the cell site capacity within the same spectrum channel to serve more users, especially for multimedia content delivery simultaneously.

“Massive MIMO is an important technology enabler and lays the foundation for the upcoming 5G. We are proud to have successfully taken this next step towards 5G with our partner Huawei,” said Dennis Wong, managing director at Optus Networks.

“Earlier this month, we launched the 4.5G network in Macquarie Park. Today’s announcement showcases our dedication to launching a world-class 5G network in Australia.”

In addition to overall aggregated speed improvements, the massive MIMO testing indicated a significant improvement to areas with high-density populations, such as vertical buildings, with the new beamforming function.

“We’re seeing a 75% year-on-year increase in data consumption. Massive MIMO is an important step along the journey to 5G as it allows us to immediately increase cell site capacity and spectrum efficiency. For customers, this means that their experience will be of consistently high standard even in high usage situations — regardless of whether your neighbour is downloading movies or the person across the hall streaming 4K videos off YouTube,” said Wong.

To complete the trial, Optus used Huawei’s Massive MIMO AAU solution, which has 16 beamforming streams in a 128T128R configuration, boosting Optus wireless network capacity and user experience by maximising existing sites and spectrum resources.

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