November 12, 2015
Telecoms equipment maker ZTE says it has made a ‘significant breakthrough’ in research on next-generation radio access networks. It announced it has successfully tested the world’s first pre-commercial distributed multiple input and multiple output (D-MIMO) technology.
The field test demonstrated a nine-fold increase in data rates at the cell edge. It achieved this massive hike in capacity using D-MIMO technology based on ZTE’s proprietary Cloud Radio system. In an outdoor test both single-user and multiple-user scenarios were explored and the tests examined the effects of multiple overlapping base stations. The tests were conducted using commercially available mobile device terminals.
The tests confirmed that the coherent joint-transmission (JT) technology used in ZTE’s new D-MIMO system can reliably create full phase synchronisation among base stations. As a result of this synchronisation, jointly transmitted signals are amplified to maximum levels as they arrive at the antenna of a user terminal, which minimises interference with other terminals. This amounts to an additional 3 dB at the antenna of a target user terminal, in comparison to non-coherent JT technology. It also avoids steering the antennas of other user terminals, which helps to minimise signal interference and creates a much better foundation for multi-user joint transmission (MU-JT).
The technology will lower the interference and degraded signalling at the cell edge, an effect which has hitherto been inevitable whenever there are multiple base stations. The upshot is that the new broadcasting breakthrough will create much better user experiences for tomorrow’s smart phone users and mobile broadband subscribers, according to ZTE. The good news for mobile operators is that D-MIMO technology can massively boost data rates at the cell edges.
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