Sprint Tests Massive MIMO in South Korea with Samsung

Massive MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) technology has been tested by Sprint and its partner, Samsung in Suwon, South Korea. Since this is Samsung's home, it's not that surprising to see Sprint take to the streets of South Korea for some field testing of this new technology on 2.5GHz spectrum, before deploying it in the US. Massive MIMO allows up to 100x more throughput than a traditional wireless network. This isn't going to be a huge deal for 4G LTE, but it is a building block for 5G networks which are coming in the next 5 to 10 years. Massive MIMO will also help Sprint propel its LTE Plus network to new heights, which is also super important for the wireless carrier.

In Sprint's announcement today, the company announced that during its field testing in South Korea, the Massive MIMO Samsung radios, which were equipped with vertical and horizontal beam-forming technology, reached peak speeds of 330Mbps per channel using a 20MHz channel of 2.5GHz spectrum. This means that the capacity per channel increased by about four times, cell edge performance was increased by about three times and the overall coverage area also improved compared to the current radios being used. Massive MIMO is an important part of Gigabit LTE as well. Seeing as it uses more antenna elements. It uses 64T64R which is 128 antenna elements (64 transmit and 64 receive), which is far higher than the 2T2R, 4T4R and 8T8R that's used in most 4G LTE networks today. These Massive MIMO antennas also use advanced horizontal and vertical beamforming technology to focus and transmit cellular signals into some targeted locations. This can be very useful for sending more signal or bandwidth into high traffic areas.

What this means for current Sprint customers is very little. Sprint likely won't be rolling out Massive MIMO in a huge capacity for a little while still. The company is still in the testing stages with Samsung, and it'll take time to perfect it before rolling it out. But Massive MIMO is going to be a huge deal for the future of wireless networks. This includes Gigabit LTE but also 5G networks, both of which are important network technologies, coming in the very near future.

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Alexander Maxham

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Alex has written for Androidheadlines since 2012 as Editor of the site and traveled the World to many of the biggest Smartphone and Technology events. Alex has a background in Technology and IT and Deep Passion for Everything Android and Google. His specialties lay in Smartphones of all budgets, Accessories, Home Automation and more. Contact him at [email protected]