Mobile Operator Orange Romania and Huawei, a leading ICT solutions provider, have conducted the first live technology trial of a “Massive MIMO” (Massive Multiple Input Multiple Output) solution in the capitol city of Bucharest. This field trial signifies a key milestone to pave the way towards 5G for Orange.
The Massive MIMO trial, conducted with Orange Labs, served as a unique occasion to evaluate in advance one of the key features naturally embedded in 5G in Bucharest, one of the cities that will host UEFA Euro2020. The trial uses TD LTE Technology in the main European 5G band: 3.5GHz and was deployed in Bucharest’s city center. Highlighting the Massive MIMO potential, results were impressive as it demonstrated an ability to deliver better user experience when many customers were using the network at the same time – user experience at least doubled was observed.
Moreover, the trial showed a significant boost in customer quality of experience (x5 in upload and x2.5 in download) especially when radio signals received by terminals were weak compared to existing 4G technologies at 3.5GHz.
Arnaud Vamparys, SVP Radio Networks and 5G group leader at Orange, stated: “This successful trial confirmed that coupling 5G innovative design and Massive MIMO can provide good indoor coverage in dense urban city by reusing existing Orange radio sites.”
Kevin Liu, General Manager Huawei Romania, stated: “We are delighted to have proven the benefits of Massive MIMO technology, making sure the operators will take advantage of investment protection and smooth evolution towards 5G. Moreover, this milestone will allow to greatly increase users’ experience and enhance the data traffic.”
Huawei’s Massive MIMO is a key technology 4.5G/5G and features an Active Antenna Unit design that integrates radio and antenna components for reliability and ease of project implementation. This groundbreaking solution adopts large-scale antenna arrays that are able to control the width and tilt, both vertical and horizontal, for 3D beamforming. Signals use beamforming techniques to focus on each user, reducing interference and improving user experience and cell throughput without requiring extra spectrum resources. Massive MIMO is thus able to help operators reduce cost per bit and extend their business further.
Paralleled with promoting premium 4G network quality by recommending 4G+ technology and its evolution across the Group, Orange Labs will pursue its 5G preparation thanks to the fruitful partnership signed with Huawei in February 2017.