The Impact of Massive MIMO in LTE-Advanced and 5G Networks

Network Trials and Commercial Experience Will Carry Through Into 5G Deployments

Report Details

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Pages: 15
Tables, Charts,
     & Figures:
5
Publication Date: 2Q 2018
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Network congestion is a growing problem for mobile operators. It is being driven by factors such as the increase in video traffic (downloading, streaming, and sharing), the demand for ever-improved video quality, and the growing popularity of applications such as virtual reality. So-called “unlimited” data plans are adding to the problem. There is huge interest in massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO), because it is one way in which operators can address this problem of congestion without the necessity for cost-intensive network densification or investment in new spectrum and radios.

Massive MIMO is already being used in LTE networks to improve capacity and coverage and will also be one of the foundations of 5G. The development of MIMO has progressed to the point where massive MIMO systems featuring large-scale antenna arrays can significantly increase network capacity through improved spectral efficiency. Massive MIMO is expected to be crucial in achieving the performance targets for 5G and is being tested extensively as part of ongoing 5G network trials, both above and below 6GHz. The experience gained by vendors and operators with massive MIMO for LTE-Advanced networks will be invaluable in the rollout of 5G.

This Ovum report examines the role of massive MIMO in LTE-Advanced and future 5G networks, assesses its impact on capacity and coverage, and addresses some of the challenges involved in its implementation.

Key Questions Addressed:

  • Which vendors are supporting massive MIMO and what solutions are they supplying to the market?
  • What will be the role of massive MIMO in 5G?
  • What are the current market dynamics?
  • What are the challenges to massive FDD MIMO?

Who Needs This Report?

  • Communication service providers
  • Network equipment vendors
  • Software providers and developers
  • Semiconductor and component companies
  • Systems integrators and services companies
  • Government agencies
  • Investor community

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
    1. Catalyst
    2. Ovum View
    3. Key Findings
  2. Market Status
    1. Development of MIMO
      • Benefits of massive MIMO
    2. Interest in massive MIMO is growing
    3. Successful trials leading to early commercial deployments
  3. Market Dynamics
    1. Focus extends to FDD and 5G
      1. Massive MIMO in 5G networks
      2. Millimeter wave bands
    2. Massive MIMO vendor landscape
      1. Ericsson
      2. Huawei
      3. Nokia
      4. Samsung
      5. ZTE
      6. Blue Danube Systems
  4. Appendix
    1. Methodology
    2. Further Reading
    3. Author
    4. Ovum Consulting

List of Charts, Figures, and Tables

Figures
  • Evolution of MIMO in 3GPP
  • Massive MIMO – Advanced 3D Beamforming
  • Time utilization in TDD versus FDD channel training
Tables
  • Selected LTE Massive MIMO Trials and Deployments
  • Selected 5G Massive MIMO Trials