Huawei gets Airtel’s 5G ball rolling with massive MIMO in Bangalore

bharti airtel & Nokia
Image credit: jurvetson |

Huawei Telecommunications India announced that it has partnered with Bharti Airtel to deploy massive MIMO technology in Bangalore, which both companies are billing as the starting point of Airtel’s 5G deployment roadmap.

According to Huawei, massive MIMO can potentially increase spectrum efficiency by five to seven times, enhancing intensive coverage and user experience.

As India goes digital, there is an unprecedented rise in demand for higher network speeds to feed data-hungry mobile applications. Increasingly, more mobile phone users are transitioning from 3G to 4G devices, presenting a capacity challenge to operators. Massive MIMO is the best technology to boost spectrum efficiency, and can help operators greatly enhance wireless network capacity and user experience by optimizing existing sites and spectrum resources, says Huawei.

Abhay Savargaonkar, Director of Networks for Airtel, said that massive MIMO marks the cellco’s first step towards 5G.

Jay Chen, CEO, Huawei India, said the vendors’ partnership with Airtel “will help steer towards an important direction for the further development and future of 5G evolution in the country.”

Huawei’s massive MIMO solution features an active antenna unit design that integrates radio and antenna components for reliability and ease of project implementation. The solution adopts large-scale antenna arrays that are able to control the width and tilt, both vertical and horizontal, for 3D beamforming.

This feature is complemented by channel estimation and advanced algorithms to allow massive MIMO to empower several terminals to reuse time-frequency resources for improved network capacity, Huawei says.

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