Even before 5G, Massive MIMO is being harnessed as a technology to boost the performance of LTE. Chinese vendors and operators have been in the vanguard of this trend, and last week saw China Mobile and Huawei aiming to break the gigabit barrier for cell throughput.
The companies announced the completion of the second phase of their Massive MIMO research, a project with the objective of 1.09Gbps throughput using LTE-Advanced Pro (or 4.5G Evolution as some vendors now call it). The test involved spatial multiplexing of Massive MIMO, used on commercial devices.
Huawei says commercial Massive MIMO systems currently reach 720Mbps cell throughput in 20 MHz of spectrum, which is 6-7 times more spectrally efficient than a traditional base station.
With the latest test, the Chinese firms hope to push commercially deployable systems to the next level. The pair said they had achieved 1Gbps cell throughput with 20 MHz of TDD spectrum. Huawei says this will pave the way for other developments such as “3D beamforming, accurate channel calibration, intelligent orthogonalization, advanced power distribution”, and other technologies which improve network efficiency.