Singtel has announced plans to deploy massive MIMO technology commercially on its LTE-Advanced network to enhance mobile data speeds for its customers at special events .
Globally, large crowds gathered at events, such as concerts and festivals, use high volumes of data to share their experiences via real-time videos on social media. This generates a dramatic spike in network traffic, presenting a challenge for operators to provide fast and consistent
Singtel says it has identified massive MIMO as one of the solutions to the problem. A precursor to 5G technology, massive MIMO is an advanced solution used to boost network capacity in highly dense environments.
Singtel will use massive MIMO base stations featuring a large array of 64 antennas that improve spectral efficiency and cell capacity using innovations in radio technologies. The antenna system channels signals to users’ specific locations instead of broadcasting across a geographical area. This multiplies the number of data paths from the cellular base stations, thus increasing network capacity and improving user experience.
Singtel will team up with Ericsson, Huawei and ZTE to deploy massive MIMO technology at the Marina Bay area to boost network speeds for its customers for the upcoming National Day celebrations. Over 150,000 people are expected at the Marina Bay area to celebrate National Day next week.
Mark Chong, group chief technology officer at Singtel, said the operator will be using its newly-acquired 2.5-GHz spectrum for the massive MIMO deployments.
Other event-based massive MIMO deployments are planned for the Singapore F1 Night Race and the New Year countdown event.
Singtel currently provides 450-Mbps LTE-A across all of Singapore, and recently launched 800-Mbps speeds in the high-traffic Orchard Road area.