Verizon has successfully tested the Frequency Division Duplexing (FDD) Massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) antenna technology with telecommunications equipment suppliers Ericsson and Qualcomm. The carrier had already deployed a similar setup in Irvine, California earlier in October in partnership with Ericsson, although in this test, the carrier specified that it also utilized a mobile test device from Qualcomm. The test device is powered by the Snapdragon 845 chipset, which is equipped with the X20 LTE modem. The modem supports the Transmission Mode 9 (TM9), which is designed to improve the performance of the LTE network by simultaneously supporting both the massive MIMO and the beamforming standards. In addition, TM9 also aims to improve signal stability, which is important in enhancing the overall customer experience.
The carrier claims that the deployment of Massive MIMO antenna setups is an important step in preparing the network for eventual 5G deployment. The Massive MIMO antenna technology aims to improve network performance and boost its capacity by using a large number of antennas to allow a base station to transmit and receive a large number of data streams at the same time. The antennas can also be used to focus signals to smaller areas. Beamforming, on the other hand, refers to the ability of the network equipment to focus radio waves to locations where users are located. Together with massive MIMO, these standards should result in reduced interference, improved signal strength, and increased cell site coverage.
As the carrier prepares for the deployment of fixed wireless 5G by the year 2018, Verizon is actively testing a number of network technologies that could potentially boost the performance of its network. One of the cellular standards that the carrier plans to deploy is the 256-QAM data modulation, which increases the number of bits sent in a single transmission. Verizon and Ericsson are also testing the mobile implementation of 5G technology, with the partners testing the standard at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The companies were able to measure a maximum data speed of 6.4Gbps inside a vehicle that is moving at speeds of around 60 miles per hour, which should be sufficient in delivering 360-degree virtual reality live stream at a resolution of 4K.