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4x4 MIMO

4x4 MIMO - The almost forgotten LTE feature?

When LTE was standardized by 3GPP in Rel. 8 (in 2009), 4x4 MIMO was part of the feature set. It did not play a role at all at that time since LTE rollout in a basic configuration with two transmitters at the base station and two receivers in the UE (LTE USB sticks in the early days, later smartphones) was already sufficiently complex. The realization of four receivers in a smartphone was a technological blocking point for the ecosystem in these early LTE days. Nowadays, the pressure for higher capacity is increasing and smartphone designs (and chipsets) have improved significantly, so that commercial 4x4 MIMO capable smartphones are entering the market. Mobile network operators can now exploit the higher spectral efficiency and higher network capacity of 4x4 MIMO by also investing on the base station side (third and fourth transmitter path).

Challenges

  • Increasing data demand in todays mobile networks

    What features fulfill the ever-increasing data demand in mobile networks?

    The forecast shows global data traffic in mobile networks increasing by close to 50% per year. Operators need to constantly increase network capacity by investing in new spectrum, new base stations and new technologies and features.

    A promising LTE feature is 4x4 MIMO, which became important starting in 2017 as the number of 4x4 MIMO capable smartphones increased.

  • Todays structure of mobile networks

    How to test MNO network capacity

    The quality of an MNO network (capacity and coverage) can be tested using e.g. the network performance test. If the network supports 4x4 MIMO, the capacity can only be measured using 4x4 MIMO capable smartphones.

    As client/server solutions, OTT applications (such as speed tests) measure the end-to-end performance, including the server connectivity, and provide limited information on the MNO network.

  • verification of 4 RX smartphone gains

    How to verify 4 Rx smartphone gains

    The realization of four receivers and in particular four uncorrelated receive antennas in a smartphone form factor is a technological challenge. Although commercial 4x4 MIMO capable smartphones are now entering the market, the different antenna performances of different smartphones result in different gains depending on antenna designs, frequency bands and other parameters.

Blog posts

  • Smart macro network enhancements: 4×4 MIMO

    The various macro network enhancements available today offer a cost-efficient and smart approach for capacity increase in mobile networks. In this blog post we discuss higher order MIMO antenna configurations, particularly 4×4 MIMO.

    Read blog post

  • Smart macro network enhancements: Overview

    With an expected 10-fold increase of data consumption in the next 5 years, investments to merely transfer the sheer amount of data are inevitable. So, how can network operators best address these increasing network capacity and performance demands?

    Read blog post

  • Enabling smart macro network enhancements

    The application card summarizes in a compact two-page format all the important facts concerning capacity enhancements in mobile networks. Apart from 4x4 MIMO, the application card describes antenna tilt optimization, carrier aggregation and higher order sectorization of macro base stations.

    Download app card

Videos

  • mimo_webinar.png

    Boost your network with 4x4 MIMO

    Learn more in our webinar about 4x4 MIMO, the capacity-enhancing feature that really increases the spectral efficiency and real-world capacity of mobile networks. This webinar examines 4x4 MIMO implementations with their challenges and potential benefits.

  • Mobile-Network-Testing-Technology-4x4-MIMO-Content-4x4-Overview-Field-Testing-Rohde-Schwarz.png

    4x4 MIMO overview and field testing

    In the video, Arnd Sibila, Technology Marketing Manager, discusses how MIMO technology can help operators address capacity needs in mobile networks. Arnd explains how to test and evaluate 2x2 MIMO and 4x4 MIMO systems.

  • Mobile-Network-Testing-Technology-4x4-MIMO-Content-Gains-4x4-Antenna-Configuration-Rohde-Schwarz.png

    Gains of 4x4 MIMO antenna configurations

    The video discusses the full gain potential in 4x4 MIMO networks and, for example, how higher peak data rates close to the base station can be exploited with 4x4 MIMO-capable devices/smartphones.

  • Mobile-Network-Testing-Technology-4x4-MIMO-Content-Base-Station-Optimization-Rohde-Schwarz.png

    BS optimization for improved capacity

    In the video, Arnd Sibila, Technology Marketing Manager, explains how mobile network capacity can be increased by minimizing internal interference. Arnd discusses parameters, such as antenna tilt, pilot pollution and cell splitting/antenna sectorization, that have an impact on capacity.

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