Chinese telecoms gear maker ZTE has developed Multi-User Shared Access (MUSA) technology that it claims can more than triple the overload capacity of wireless access networks.

MUSA is one of ZTE’s “pre-5G” research projects, which use so-called 5G-ready technologies to provide commercial 4G end-users with 5G-like access. Its other pre-5G technologies include massive MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) and ultra-dense networks (UDNs), which the company expects to be commercially deployed this year.

Based on simulation tests, ZTE says its latest MUSA algorithm improved the overload radio by 200 per cent.

ZTE said it also validated its UDNs, which use pico remote radio (RRU) hardware and its cloud radio interference cancellation technology for denser deployment of base stations, which boosts capacity.

Xiang Jiying, ZTE’s chief scientist, said the pre-5G solutions will help operators enhance the access rate and overall network capacity by leveraging existing resources over the next three to five years. “Before standardisation of 5G technologies, these can effectively mitigate the challenges of data traffic surges.”

In January ZTE boasted a “world first” by completing pre-commercial field testing of multi-user and multi-stream transmission on a massive MIMO base station, claiming it had set “new records” in single-carrier transmission capacity and spectral efficiency.

ZTE has been talking up its pre-5G concept since November, saying it will be available much sooner than 5G (which hasn’t been offically defined and has a timeframe for commercial launch of beyond 2020).