Mobile companies test ‘Massive MIMO’ technology to bring 5G to India
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Telecom operators are gearing up to bring 5G connectivity to India and have already started to work towards the same.

Telecom players including Reliance Jio, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular are getting set to introduce massive MIMO technology in India, a pre-requisite for 5G connectivity, News18 reported. The telecom operators are expected to embed the technology into their networks by 2020. Bharti Airtel has already started deploying the technology in Kolkata and Bangalore and is likely to introduce it to Pune, Chandigarh and Hyderabad next.

Massive MIMO (massive multiple input multiple output) boosts the transmission signals to the devices by increasing the capacity of a base station (by five to seven times as per a report) and also reducing the interference in the network. This results in improved signal reception and in turn, better spectral efficiency and data rates. Massive MIMO is expected to up the current data speeds (of up to 16 Mbps) to anywhere between 30 Mbps and 50 Mbps (peak).

The technology is currently being deployed on the existing 4G networks by various telecom operators. “We are in the process of bringing massive MIMO on 4G in India,” Himanshu Kapania, Managing Director, Idea Cellular, told ET. A similar insight was shared by Vishant Vora, Director, Technology, Vodafone India with ET: “We are bringing some of 5G technologies like massive MIMO into 4G and applying them. We are conducting trials of this technology.”

Reliance Jio had earlier announced that its existing 4G networks could easily be upgraded to provide 5G connectivity in the future. Samsung has partnered with Jio as its only commercial vendor pan-India for the existing 4G networks. Earlier this year, President of Networks Business at Samsung Electronics, Youngky Kim had said “We will strive to create new paradigms for LTE-Advanced Pro and 5G by closely cooperating with Jio as a unified workforce.”

Massive MIMO technology will also boost indoor network coverage with its deployment in highly congested areas.

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