Verizon, Qualcomm, and Ericsson collaborate to trial latest Massive MIMO advancements, on the path to 5G

Niklas Heuveldop of Ericsson

Verizon, Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated extended their technology innovation leadership by completing the first successful FDD Massive MIMO trial with a fully compatible customer device.

This achievement builds on the momentum from the deployment of FDD (Frequency Division Duplexing) Massive MIMO (Multiple Input – Multiple Output) on Verizon’s wireless network in Irvine, California.

“We don’t wait for the future, we build it. And this is another great example of moving the industry forward,” says Nicola Palmer, chief network engineer and head of Wireless Networks, Verizon. “Massive MIMO is a critical component of our 4G LTE Advancements and will play an important role in 5G technology that will result in single digit latency and scalability in the billions of connections.”

In this trial, the three companies used the latest Ericsson Massive MIMO software and hardware on Verizon’s network, along with a mobile test device powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 845 Mobile Platform with X20 LTE using TM9 (Transmission Mode 9). TM9 is an enhancement for consumer devices that will make them fully compatible with Massive MIMO, enabling a better experience.

Massive MIMO is a key technology component in the evolution towards 5G. It has the potential of greatly improving network capacity and the customer’s experience. To realise the gains, both the network and devices need to support new TM9 functionality which leverages advanced beamforming schemes between the network equipment and the mobile device. This will raise network spectral efficiency and customer speeds.

Nicola Palmer

Joe Glynn, vice president, business development, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. says: “This milestone further demonstrates Qualcomm Technologies’ leadership and commitment to continually bring innovative technologies to consumers to improve their mobile experiences. We look forward to continuing our work with Verizon and Ericsson to push the limits of LTE while ushering in a world of 5G.”

Niklas Heuveldop, head of Market Area North America, Ericsson, says: “Advanced Antenna Systems and Massive MIMO are key technology enablers for 5G, and 4G LTE service providers and end users will also benefit from the superior capacity and network performance these technologies enable. The latest trial is another important step in the collaboration we have with Verizon and Qualcomm Technologies to further evolve 4G and prepare the network for 5G.”

The Ericsson Massive MIMO portfolio is expected to be available next year, putting it well in line with commercial smartphones with the TM9 compatible chipset, which are expected to hit the markets in the first half of 2018.

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