Future of 5G networks lies in Massive MIMO technology

Cullen Xu, vice-presidente da linha de produtos 5G e TDD da Huawei | VP for 5G and TDD product line

Although they are still beginning to be implemented in Latin America this year, 5G networks are expected to become dominant in a short time. Huawei's forecast is that the proportion of 5G users in the Latin American region should exceed the mark of 30% by 2025, and that the traffic supported by 5G networks will be more than three times higher than the current one.

Cullen Xu, Vice President of 5G Product Line, recalls that this development is taking place in virtually all countries in the region and that, to meet the demand, Huawei has been focusing on the industrial chain of the ecosystem. On the vendors' side, the main concern has been the construction of high-quality networks, which are capable of offering new experiences to users.

"5G networks can provide a user experience that is more than ten times better than previous generations, which will rapidly increase the number of users and traffic," he said. Therefore, the executive advocates that operators bet on offering more bandwidth and on the use of the Massive Broadband MIMO technology to guarantee this experience.

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"We believe that Massive Broadband MIMO is key to achieving the best performance and response to telcos' efforts to build high-quality 5G networks," said Xu. One of the main reasons for the growing demand for an enhanced network experience is the consumption of high-definition video. Globally, video services account for up to 70% of total mobile traffic, with high-definition video traffic corresponding to 55% of total mobile video traffic.

It is no surprise that telecommunications companies are continually improving the quality of the network. For example, according to the results of RootMetrics' 5G network performance tests carried out in Seoul, South Korea, the average downlink network experience of LGU+, the top company in the performance test, increased from 476 Mbit/s in 2020 to 640 Mbit/s in 2021.

"Improving the quality of the network promotes the continuous development of evaluation standards," explained Xu. All of this means that the 5G experience evaluation benchmark is larger and 5G network performance evaluation metrics are broader. This also makes it imperative for telecommunications companies to focus on network performance to stand out from their competitors.

In this context, High-Bandwidth Massive MIMO (Massive Multiple Input Multiple Output) is emerging as a key technology concept to support telecom companies in providing a high-quality 5G network experience. When compared to the 32T Massive MIMO, the 64T Massive MIMO helps service providers improve network experience, capacity, and coverage.

Additionally, it is helping operators to provide superior coverage and indoor experience. In Seoul, South Korea, the 32T Massive MIMO has been replaced by the 64T Massive MIMO, enabling operators to improve their skyscraper experience by over 30%. In a challenging environment such as Saudi Arabia, which has thick walls, 64T Massive MIMO is helping operators to improve coverage by 3db, improve the indoor experience by 2.8 times, achieving a rate of 267 Mbit/s.

"We are working on this technology so that carriers in the region can reach the quality expected by users in a quick and simple manner, allowing the creation and traffic of an increasing number of local applications. We have many of them under development in Latin America, and a high-quality network is a key condition for them to meet the expectations of users," added the executive. (* – This special report is sponsored by Huawei)

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