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Huawei's Pioneering FDD Massive MIMO Is Reducing Operators' Cost Per Bit with 3–5x Capacity Increases

Feb 18, 2019

[Shenzhen, China, February 18, 2019] As of press time, Huawei's FDD massive MIMO solutions had been commercially used and tested by more than 30 operators in China, Thailand, Turkey, Indonesia, Russia, and Pakistan since Huawei and China Unicom jointly completed the world's first FDD massive MIMO field test in Shanghai in January 2017. Huawei's FDD massive MIMO increases capacity by three to five times, effectively reduces capacity suppression in hotspot cells, and significantly improves user experience. Overall, FDD massive MIMO solutions have matured and will be deployed on a large scale in 2019.

In recent years, mobile video and over-the-top services have developed rapidly, achieving a compound annual data service growth rate of 100 percent to 200 percent. To adapt to the recent extensive growth in hotspot area traffic and reduce traffic cost per bit, operators should continuously improve their networks. One way to do this is through 5G-oriented upgrades of 4G networks. These upgrades help networks conform to ever-increasing user experience requirements. Massive MIMO is an important technology in 5G-oriented upgrades of 4G networks. Massive MIMO uses massive antenna arrays, significantly improving spectral efficiency and system capacity. Tests on multiple commercial networks have shown that massive MIMO cells can achieve a three- to five-fold increase in capacity. 

Huawei's FDD massive MIMO offers industry-leading performance. With existing user devices, Huawei's FDD massive MIMO improves capacity more than three-fold.

Huawei was first to launch 1.8 GHz/2.6 GHz FDD massive MIMO products in 2018. This year, Huawei will achieve another industry first by launching the first 1.8 GHz+2.1 GHz dual-band massive MIMO product, further reducing operators' traffic cost per bit. Huawei's FDD massive MIMO provides the industry's highest network capacity gains with existing user devices on live networks. This is due to multi-user pairing and an optimized channel estimation algorithm. 

The feasibility of Huawei's FDD massive MIMO solutions has been verified on multiple commercial networks.

Huawei's massive MIMO integrates an RRU + antenna solution. This massive antenna array offers higher gains and better performance, and also increases equipment weight and volume when compared with traditional modules. Huawei has greatly improved the installation feasibility of its FDD massive MIMO products through innovations in heat dissipation, antennas, and radio frequency (RF) algorithms. In addition, Huawei's massive MIMO product innovations have also led to equipment miniaturization and industry-leading system integration. Huawei's FDD massive MIMO solutions are now commercially available and they have been tested on more than 30 networks, demonstrating their adaptability to various scenarios.

Huawei's FDD massive MIMO solutions also include constant algorithm updates, which lead to continuous improvements in performance.

In 2019, Huawei will launch multiple innovative solutions, such as smart massive MIMO and TM4/TM9 hybrid scheduling, to further enhance the performance of its FDD massive MIMO solutions. 

Smart massive MIMO uniquely adopts AI algorithms to learn and model user device distribution on networks. It intelligently adjusts performance parameters, such as beam direction, width, and power. This leads to capacity gains and significantly improves network optimization efficiency. 

TM4/TM9 hybrid scheduling enables eNodeBs to adaptively schedule user devices based on their ability to support TM4/TM9. TM4-capable user devices obtain multi-sector multiplexing gains through static sectorized beams. TM9-capable user devices obtain better signal quality and multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) gains through dynamic beamforming. With existing TM4-capable user devices, FDD massive MIMO can achieve a capacity increase of more than three times. Even if the penetration rate of TM9-capable user devices is low, capacity gains of FDD massive MIMO are unrestricted. FDD massive MIMO is ready for large-scale deployment. As the penetration rate of TM9-capable user devices increases in the future, performance gains due to FDD massive MIMO will be magnified. 

"Huawei continues to lead the industry in the FDD massive MIMO field, with superior equipment performance, engineering feasibility, and network optimization efficiency," said Chen Chuanfei, director of Huawei's LTE FDD production division. Chen continued: "Huawei's FDD massive MIMO products help operators maximize the utilization of their existing sites and spectrum resources, and greatly improve their wireless network capacity and user experience."