US-based mobile operator Sprint and Samsung conducted joint field tests in the South Korean city of Suwon using Massive multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) radios to achieve peak speeds of 330Mb/s per channel using a 20MHz channel on the 2.5GHz band.
The companies said in a statement the Massive MIMO tests represent a real-world application of the new technology, which Sprint plans to use to increase the wireless capacity and coverage of its LTE Plus network and move towards gigabit LTE service.
Gunther Ottendorfer, Sprint’s COO for technology (pictured, far left), said the testing in South Korea is an important step towards deploying Massive MIMO in its US network, where it will be a key element of LTE Plus as well as 5G.
“Massive MIMO is a tremendous differentiator for Sprint because it is easily deployed on 2.5GHz spectrum due to the small form factor of the radios needed for a high frequency band,” he said.
“In lower frequency bands, wavelengths are much longer and therefore the radios require much larger, impractical form factors. This makes massive MIMO an important tool for unleashing our deep 2.5GHz spectrum holdings.”
Samsung’s MIMO radios were equipped with vertical and horizontal beam-forming technology, which boosted the capacity per channel by about four times and the cell edge performance by three times.
Sprint deployed 8T8R (8 transmit, 8 receive) radios across its US network, and the purpose of the test was to compare the performance of massive MIMO radios with 8T8R radios.
The companies said they will use the results in preparation for commercial deployment of massive MIMO in the US and other markets.