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China Mobile Sichuan Verified Indoor 5G Distributed Massive MIMO in China – First in a Railway Station

China Mobile Sichuan verified the first application of indoor 5G distributed Massive MIMO in Chengdu East Railway Station, a major transportation hub located in Sichuan province, southwest of China. This is the first time that distributed Massive MIMO has been verified in a railway station in China.

By applying Massive MIMO to indoor distributed digital networks in which small cells are heavily used, this innovative implementation sets it far apart from the common practices of splitting cells to increase network capacity with outstanding results: eliminated multi-cell interference on indoor 5G networks, more than doubled network capacity, and over 50% increase in user-perceived rates.

As the mobile industry enters the 5G era, over 70% of data traffic will be generated indoors. Railway stations have a high density of mobile users and a tremendous demand for large network capacity. This highlights the urgency of introducing 5G networks to meet the service requirements for a better travel experience. However, co-channel interference has been a constant issue for 5G indoor networks in the industry.

Chengdu East Railway Station is one of the railway pivots China has for the new century to provide services to passengers in its central and western regions. The station has a total built-up area of 220,000 m2 and can handle an up to 24,000 trips per hour during peak times.

Massive MIMO converts interference into desired signals while ensuring flexible capacity expansion to better meet customers' requirements for 5G networks.

The verification included network capacity and single-UE drive tests. The results showed that, after distributed Massive MIMO was adopted in the indoor 5G networks, the downlink and uplink capacity rose by 107% and 173%, respectively. The average downlink and uplink rates also improved notably, by 54% and 37%, respectively, compared with previous solutions in which multiple antenna headends were combined to serve one cell.

Indoor distributed Massive MIMO utilizes multi-user spatial multiplexing to significantly improve network capacity. It also improves service experiences for users by leveraging the benefits of multi-antenna joint reception and transmission. In the transportation hubs with a high density of mobile users and a tremendous demand for data traffic, indoor distributed Massive MIMO will enable mobile carriers to improve both network capacity and service quality for users. It will also provides them with a solid technological foundation for expanding 5G into the vertical markets.

This content is sponsored by Huawei.

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd

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