Massive MIMO Map Feb 2018 450

Dark blue: Building actively: China Mobile, Softbank Japan, Bharti India, Jio India, Vodafone India, Singtel, Globe Phillippines, Sprint USA

Medium: Announced: DT, FT/Orange, BT, Qatar, Verizon USA, T-Mobile Netherlands, Telekom South Africa  

Light blue: Talking: Vodafone England, Vodafone Turkey,
Safaricom Kenya, 

24 Stream MM: 956 Megabits in 20 MHz

Softbank & ZTE demonstrate an 18X improvement in the test, if the press release details are correct. The China Mobile rule of thumb is MM delivers an average 3X gain, but results vary enormously.

Softbank was first in bringing MM to the field and in some cases did see a 10X improvement. In other locations, results were well under the hoped for 3X. Ironically, the worst location can be is where you have good line of sight. MIMO works by bouncing off the terrain.

LTE has a physical connection rate of 75 megabits in 20 MHz. That would be a maximum of 1,800 megabits. However, a third of that is used for signaling and error correction, resulting in about 50 megabits usable. 24 streams in theory could deliver 1,200 megabits. 

Softbank's "24 terminals downloaded FTP data simultaneously at a rate of 956 megabits." That's remarkably close to the maximum after just 18 months.

Of course, the test was under controlled conditions and real world results will be less. I believe they used 128 antennas but I'm waiting for ZTE to confirm that.

Many LTE networks now use carrier aggregation at 60 MHz to 80 MHz, resulting in near-triple or quadruple total capacity.  Nishant Batra tells me Ericsson will have three carrier aggregation available in early 2018.

Here's the pr. 

ZTE and SoftBank Successfully Verify 1Gbps Peak Data Rate in Pre5G Massive MIMO Test

 Starting Strategic Partnership in the Smart Life Project

29 September 2017, Shenzhen, China – ZTE Corporation (0763.HK / 000063.SZ), a major international provider of telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology solutions for the Mobile Internet, together with SoftBank and Wireless City Planning, has successfully verified the 24-stream space division multiplexing technology by using Pre5G TDD Massive MIMO 2.0 under the complex commercial network in Nagasaki, Japan. In this verification test, 24 terminals downloaded FTP data simultaneously at a rate of 956 Mbps on a 20MHz bandwidth.

This is the first practical test in a commercial network after ZTE's Pre5G TDD Massive MIMO achieved the rate of 1.1Gbps in the 24-stream field test in Shenzhen, China. Meanwhile, ZTE reached the first milestone with SoftBank in the Smart Life strategic cooperation project.

The Smart Life project is an important strategic project of ZTE for post-4G networks, the preliminary phase of 5G networks, and even future 5G networks in the next 3 to 5 years. In this project, ZTE planed and discussed product solutions with operators, and verified innovative solutions under different application scenarios for the most advanced fields in the industry. The Smart Life project aims to enhance the overall performance of operators' networks and users’ experience and reduce per-bit investment costs, and therefore ensures that the operators' networks can easily evolve to 5G networks.

SoftBank is ZTE's first pilot partner in the Smart Life project. The two parties carried out innovative research and development on the improvement of spectrum efficiency, 4G/5G network integration, mobile bandwidth, IoT, and Internet of Vehicles. In the first phase, both parties improved service experience under the mobile bandwidth scenario by applying 5G technologies in the 4G network and increasing spectrum efficiency. This 24-stream field verification by using Massive MIMO in the commercial network is a core function solution first achieved in the first phase.

In the actual verification, 24 terminals downloaded FTP data simultaneously. Through the core space division multiplexing technology, the new-generation Pre5G TDD Massive MIMO ensures that each user exclusively occupies 20MHz spectrum resources on a single carrier. In a commercial network, the average user data rate reaches 40Mbps or above, and the cell spectrum efficiency is improved by 7.7 times compared with that of traditional LTE cells. Therefore, on the aspects of cell throughput and single-user experience, the performance of Pre5G Massive MIMO is far superior to that of traditional LTE networks, laying a solid foundation for coping with the rapid increase of traffic in the future and smooth evolution to 5G networks.

"ZTE is the first partner to support Massive MIMO 24 streams in the commercial network at a throughput of close to 956 Mbps on a single carrier. We will work together to build a network that makes the future life of SoftBank's users smarter and more intelligent," said Noda, director of the Network Dept. of SoftBank.

According to Bai Yanmin, general manager of ZTE's TDD and 5G products, said, "Smart Life is an important strategic project of ZTE. In the next 3 to 5 years before and after 5G commercialization, we will make cooperative planning and joint verification with operators to provide technical solutions and support for user experience services in the 5G/Pre5G network, such as mobile bandwidth, IoT, and ultra-low latency. We first started pilot cooperation with SoftBank, and this verification test of Massive MIMO 24 streams witnessed a good start of the project. In the future, ZTE will join hands with more partners to expand the Smart Life project. Along with the penetration of 5G networks, daily life will be further improved in the future. 

The Site for Massive 230
dave ask

Massive MIMO is rapidly deploying across the world; Soon, I'll be adding many more countries to the Massive MIMO map. On average, adding 64 or 128 antennas triples the performance of the cell site at moderate cost. Ericsson, Huawei, and ZTE are shipping by the thousands.

Being a reporter is a great job for a geek. I'm not an engineer but I've learned from some of the best, including the primary inventors of DSL, cable modems, MIMO, Massive MIMO, and now 5G mmWave. Since 1999, I've done my best to get closer to the truth about broadband.

Send questions and news to Dave Burstein, Editor.