With Mobile World Congress (News - Alert) (MWC) 2017 already in full swing, reports have been hitting about the innovations coming out of the event. Some of these reports have even hit before the event started. Nokia (News - Alert) has been at the center of many of these reports, and the next generation communications master has delivered another new project. It's currently showing that project off, with help from Sprint (News - Alert), in the form of a massive multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) system.
The massive MIMO system in question represents the first such use of this system by an operator in the United States, and the demonstration itself not only called on several different commercial devices, but also on Nokia's own recently-launched 4.9G AirScale Massive MIMO Adaptive Antenna. As the name suggests, it's particularly geared toward massive MIMO operations that will likely be a big part of next generation communications going forward.
That antenna, in turn, itself represents a huge move forward in next generation communications, as it's geared toward extremely large-scale deployments. Designed to take current MIMO technology and scale it up, using 64T64R instead of 2T2R / 4T4R / 8T8R developments, the massive MIMO system is best suited for “megacity” deployments and providing service that's on par with the expectations of 5G access.
Sprint's Gunther Ottendorfer (News - Alert), current chief operating officer of technology, commented, “Massive MIMO is a critical part of our strategy to increase the capacity of our LTE Plus network today, and in the future, it will be a key element of our 5G network. 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.”
The hope of 5G is that it will not only make expansion more readily available into underserved areas—potentially even offering fiber-level speeds and bandwidth to even rural areas—but also better deliver greater mobile capability within currently well-served areas. That's a lot to put on any communications technology, though early word suggests it will be able to deliver on these fronts. Having the necessary infrastructure behind such developments will be vital, therefore, and it's moves like the massive MIMO system Sprint and Nokia are bringing out that will help drive 5G going forward.
Society needs better bandwidth access for both work and play alike; too much of our culture now is Internet-driven. The end result is that 5G is going to be a very necessary technology, and everything that helps it achieve its greatest results will be just as necessary. Massive MIMO antennas are just part of the package.
Edited by Alicia Young