Verizon began a rollout of FDD Massive MIMO technology on its network, starting with 16 radio units in Irvine, California.
The deployment, conducted in collaboration with Ericsson, utilises transceivers with 96 antenna elements running on a 20MHz block of AWS spectrum.
Massive MIMO itself provides a boost in both energy and spectral efficiency. But Verizon noted the implementation of Massive MIMO also enables beamforming to target signals, reduce interference and provide more consistent speeds.
“While continuing to drive 5G development, the deployment of Massive MIMO offers very tangible benefits for our customers today,” Verizon’s chief network officer Nicola Palmer said in a statement.
More on the way
Verizon plans to move forward with Massive MIMO deployments in areas of the network where there are capacity needs. The feature will automatically benefit users with compatible devices.
US rival Sprint is gearing up for a deployment of TD Massive MIMO, with plans to launch units with 128 elements starting in the first half of 2018. CTO John Saw indicated the Massive MIMO units Sprint is planning to use will offer a four- to ten-times improvement in sector capacity, and be capable of supporting speeds between 3Gb/s and 6Gb/s.
Like Verizon, Sprint is planning its first Massive MIMO deployments in areas where there is a capacity need.