Massive MIMO Radios
Massive MIMO is a technology that allows radio technology to progress from 2/4/8 antenna configurations to 32/64/128 antennas and beyond. This progression in antenna configurations can be used by operators to provide additional capacity, improve spectral efficiency or improve coverage in their networks using beamforming algorithms.
The larger dimensions of antenna configurations allow for directing signals in a particular direction, suppression of interference from adjacent cells or allowing the RAN technology to support more users.
Different antenna configurations can be used to shape the beams by applying different weights to the antenna elements in a massive MIMO beam. In the case of the higher frequencies like millimeter wave, the antenna elements are used to create pencil-thin beams that can be used to circumvent the path loss typically observed in these higher frequencies. In more dense urban areas, 3D beamforming algorithms can be used to have multiple narrow beams with elevation or horizontal beamforming. In dense urban areas, the spatial separation of the beams can be exploited to improve the overall spectral efficiency of the sector.
Using Altiostar’s Open vRAN architecture running on virtualized commercially-off-the-shell (COTS) baseband hardware, massive MIMO solutions can be deployed with various types of split architectures. This becomes beneficial by offering flexibility to deploy massive MIMO technology for operators that might have different transport configuration or spectrum allocations in their network.
The baseband configuration for Altiostar Open vRAN solutions leverages a common fabric (i.e. the same software and baseband hardware for all kinds of radio configurations). This allows multiple different types of massive MIMO configurations to be deployed by the operator. In the case of an existing 4G deployment, an operator can deploy 5G based low power massive MIMO technology to create instant hotspots that will augment capacity. High powered massive MIMO radios are particularly beneficial for providing high-speed bandwidth Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) or enhanced Mobile Broadband Access (eMBB) use cases.
With the software-centric approach, the operator can initially deploy the solution using 4G or 5G NSA mode and then choose to migrate to the 5G SA mode.