T-Mobile Netherlands has activated a Massive MIMO base station installed at the Leidseplein square in Amsterdam, a development which it called a ‘major step towards a 5G network’, providing ‘600% network capacity improvement across a large number of users’ via a single frequency band and single antenna during its trial operation through September in partnership with Huawei.
With its existing LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network T-Mobile covers the same area ‘with at least three to four’ frequency bands and associated antennas. The compact Massive MIMO antenna has 64 small reception and 64 transmitter sensors to send and receive different data streams using a single 20MHz frequency block in the 2600MHz range using TD-LTE technology. A single antenna thus provides a network capacity of 600Mbps (without 256QAM modulation technology), where a regular TD-LTE antenna delivers around 100Mbps capacity. During the Leidseplein tests simultaneous downlink rates of more than 35Mbps per device (smartphones from Apple, Huawei and Samsung) among 16 test subjects were recorded via the single antenna. All users in and around the square can make use of both the existing network and the Massive MIMO antenna from this week onwards.
The cellco’s release adds that Massive MIMO technology will form part of a 4.5G LTE-A Pro commercial network, with a series of different technology tests and launches scheduled for this autumn with Huawei.