PaulrajTom Keathley of AT&T approves. No one believed Arogyaswami Paulraj in the 1990's when he claimed MIMO (his invention) would one day lead to a 100x improvement in wireless capacity. That day is now close, with Ericsson making the first announcement of commercial Massive MIMO. 

"We must have MU-MIMO," Sanyogita Shamsunder of Verizon said this spring. "Massive-MIMO, also known as 3D MIMO, is an important milestone in China Mobile's technology roadmap," Huang Yuhong of China Mobile says in the pr below. Keathley adds a comment from AT&T. 

Many of us have seen how well four antennas work in 4x4 Wi-Fi, raising theoretical speeds over a gigabit and real world tests at 500 megabits. Four antenna MIMO is a crucial enabler of gigabit LTE, about to start deploying. Add more antennas and performance continues to improve. See 1000% MU MIMO gain in gigabit tests by Universities, Facebook

MIMO 2025: A 10x or 100x Capacity Multiplier? is a remarkable 80 minute session from when Paulraj won the Marconi Prize. He was joined by Tom Marzetta of Bell Labs, credited as the "Father of Massive MIMO," John Cioffi, and Helmut Bölcskei. Paul said to me he's comfortable with 50x although 100x may be far away. Vint Cerf, Marty Cooper and Andrea Goldsmith have told me in Marconi webinars they are comfortable with the 50x projection, although nothing is guaranteed.   

 Although few early systems will go that far, the new Ericsson system can scale to 64 transmit and 64 receive. It's called Massive MIMO for a reason. They come four to a box so it would take a heckuva lot of boxes to max out the system. Unless you want to buy 100,000 or so, I expect the price will be high.There clearly are locations where 16 or 24 antennas would pay off today, but I suspect most large early systems will be used for testing. 

For the next 5 years, many antenna MIMO will be far more important than 5G highband. Both can be called 5G, an almost meaningless marketing term. The 64 transmit and 64 receive antennas often can deliver 20-40 times as much capacity as most of today's cellsites. In some places, MIMO gain is not as impressive. It is dependent on the separate signals bouncing off the environment in slightly different ways.

My three days interviewing Paulraj, pictured, for his Marconi Award film were to me like a cello player taking personal lessons with Pablo Casals. 

Here's the pr. Ignore the 5G in the title; it's become a meaningless marketing term.

 Ericsson first to deliver 5G NR radio


World's first commercial 5G New Radio (NR) radio for massive MIMO and Multi-user MIMO coming in 2017

  • New additions to Ericsson Radio System address key requirements of 5G, in today's networks

  • Pioneering Industrialized Network Rollout Services solution facilitates complete rollout from configuration to verification in a single visit

Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) is commercializing the world's first 5G NR radio for massive MIMO, with the first deployments coming in 2017. Together with the Ericsson 5G Plug-Ins announced in June and Ericsson's already commercially available Radio System Baseband 5216, which currently powers Ericsson's award-winning Radio Test Bed, Ericsson is first to deliver all components of a 5G access network.

Tom Keathley, senior vice president, Wireless Network Architecture and Design, AT&T, says: "As we accelerate toward 5G, it's beneficial to have a flexible radio platform that can be deployed not only for LTE, but also versions of future 5G NR standards."

AIR 6468 combines advanced antennas with a large number of steerable ports to enable 5G technologies of beamforming, Massive MIMO and -- building on that -- Multi-user MIMO, initialized as MU-MIMO. These capabilities improve user experience while enhancing the capacity and coverage of the network and reducing interference. The new radio provides LTE support as well, so it is applicable in today's networks.

Huang Yuhong, Deputy Head, China Mobile Research Institute (CMRI), says: "Massive-MIMO, also known as 3D MIMO, is an important milestone in China Mobile's technology roadmap from 4G to 5G. We are very happy that Ericsson's new radio product is coming to market soon to meet our needs and enable us to integrate 5G technologies into our existing networks."

A host of new additions to the Ericsson Radio System are also coming that address key 5G requirements, in today's networks.

Daniel Staub, Head of Joint Mobile Group, Swisscom, says: "On the road to 5G, we will continue to invest in LTE advancements that will become part of our 5G networks. For us, it is key that Ericsson has chosen to focus on advances that will support us in this evolution. These enhancements will further improve the customer experience."

Additional new Ericsson Radio System gear addresses 5G concepts

  • Three new radios support Gigabit speeds for LTE and provide further flexibility in design: Radio 4407 and Radio 4412 enable 4x4 MIMO in one radio unit for FDD and TDD mode respectively, and Radio 8808 for advanced TDD beamforming applications

  • Addressing both the need for unlicensed spectrum options and the growing emphasis on small cells is the Radio 2205, a micro solution on unlicensed spectrum that is fully integrated in Ericsson Radio System, using the same baseband and network management

  • Two new baseband units support the growing need for densification: the outdoor micro Baseband 6502 and macro Baseband 6303 with Ericsson Rail System mounting for flexible site builds

  • Addressing interference issues in dense builds, Baseband P614 enables new band activation on challenging sites by mitigating Passive Inter Modulation, referred to as PIM mitigation, from static and dynamic sources both inside and outside the antenna system

  • Spectrum optimization is a growing need and Uplink Spectrum Analyzer is an Ericsson-unique software solution to remotely identify external interference without the need for costly measurement equipment and site visits

  • Exclusive to Ericsson is instant power sharing, used in the wideband Radio 2242. This capability allows power to be instantly shared between carriers, standards and bands, optimizing the use of radio resources

  • Cloud RAN will be an important 5G network architecture and Baseband C608 provides high-performance switching in Elastic RAN deployments

Peter Jarich, Vice President, Consumer and Infrastructure Services, Current Analysis, says: "Mobile operators, today, are clearly focused on the race to 5G commercialization, while also continuing to invest in their existing LTE networks. With a new 5G radio and LTE offerings which echo key 5G concepts - small cells, licensed-unlicensed band combinations, Cloud RAN, network densification, spectrum optimization - Ericsson's new portfolio additions and Ericsson Radio System innovations provide a compelling way forward."

To support new network builds, Ericsson has created the industry's first Industrialized Network Rollout Services solution. The Network Deployment Delivery Platform coupled with Ericsson's pioneering process facilitates the complete configuration, installation, integration, shakedown and handover of a fully verified site, ready in a single site visit.

Arun Bansal, Head of Business Unit Network Products, Ericsson, says: "Ericsson has driven innovation in every generation of mobile technology and now we are set to over-deliver on an aggressive promise. We are introducing the new hardware that 5G Plug-Ins, announced in June, will run on, so that the first operators can start to deploy 5G infrastructure.  And, we are also launching innovations that improve both the performance and efficiency of today's networks using concepts that will evolve into 5G."



dave ask

@analysisbranch for latest updates


Welcome  Asia is installing hundreds of thousands of 5G radios and adding 5G subs by the tens of millions. The west is far behind. 200,000,000 in 2020

The demand is there, and most of the technology works. Meanwhile, the hype is unreal. Time for reporting closer to the truth.

I'm Dave Burstein, Editor. I've been reporting telecom since 1999. I love to hear from readers and say thank you when you find an error.

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