& cplSiteName &

AT&T Waltzes Towards Massive MIMO

Dan Jones
2/16/2017
50%
50%

AT&T says that it has been testing "massive MIMO" with Shentel and startup Blue Danube. (See AT&T, Shentel Test Blue Danube MIMO.)

The tests used Blue Danube's 96-element BeamCraft500 active antenna, and delivered up to five times the throughput of standard LTE networks, the startup said. The test is significant because it was using dual-band Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) LTE spectrum.

Previously Massive MIMO has been trialed in high-frequency single-band Time Division Duplex (TDD) spectrum. It is easier to build large multiple input and output antenna arrays in TDD at higher frequencies because the individual elements are smaller.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is an investor in Blue Danube Systems . The operator has also made clear it wants to upgrade its network to deliver 1 Gbit/s download speeds in "some areas" in 2017. (See AT&T Preps 4.5G Cities, 5G Testbeds.)

All of this, however, begs the question: How many antenna elements does an array need to be called "Massive MIMO" anyway?

I checked with Heavy Reading's Principal Analyst Gabriel Brown and he said that there is no formal definition. Massive can apparently be defined as tens, hundreds or thousands of antenna elements.

"By Massive MIMO, I mean 64 transmitters and 64 receivers," Nokia's VP of Networks Marketing Phil Twist told Light Reading recently. That's 128 antenna elements if you're counting. (See So What Is 4.9G Anyway?)

Still, a 96-element antenna will boost performance on these networks. 8 Transmitters and 8 receivers is currently cutting edge for FDD LTE networks in the US.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Featured Video
From The Founder
John Chambers is still as passionate about business and innovation as he ever was at Cisco, finds Steve Saunders.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
June 26, 2018, Nice, France
September 12, 2018, Los Angeles, CA
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Comcast's Bid for Content, Growth & Whatever Comes Next
Phil Harvey, US News Editor, 6/13/2018
Ciena CTO Says No to Skynet, Advocates Adaptive Networks
Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Editor, 6/14/2018
Source Packet Routing Gets Real in 2018
Sterling Perrin, Principal Analyst, Heavy Reading, 6/15/2018
Mavenir's Billion-Dollar Blueprint
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, 6/18/2018
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed