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, 

Massive MIMO Reality: It Works & Triples Performance

China Mobile and Softbank Japan are deploying thousands. The three major Indians, Sprint & Verizon in the U.S., and True in Thailand are serving customers. I expect the Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone soon and dozens more in the next few years. The performance varies strongly with the terrain. Softbank reports results as high as a 10X improvement but the 3X reported by Huang Yuhong of China Mobile is more typical. 

Flat terrain limits reflections and limits MIMO. Early systems worked only in TDD mode and spectrum, but now FDD networks are also in the field. While 64 antennas are most common, ZTE and Softbank report as much as an 18X gain using 128 antennas. Tuning the beamforming allows particular improvement at the cell edge, per Softbank. 

In sub-Saharan Africa, where there are very few landlines, the capacity boost is particularly important. 

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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.