|[September 12, 2017]
Sprint and Ericsson Conduct First U.S. Field Tests for 2.5 GHz Massive MIMO
At Mobile World Congress Americas, Sprint (NYSE: S) and Ericsson (News - Alert)
(NASDAQ: ERIC) today unveiled results of the first U.S. 2.5 GHz Massive
MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) field tests conducted in Seattle,
Washington and Plano, Texas using Sprint's (News - Alert) spectrum and Ericsson's
64T64R (64 transmit, 64 receive) radios. The two companies are preparing
for commercial deployment next year, with Massive MIMO radios capable of
increasing Sprint's network capacity up to ten times.
"Massive MIMO is a game changer for adding capacity to our network and
taking LTE (News - Alert) Plus to the next level," said Dr. John Saw, Sprint CTO. "This
technology is a tremendous competitive advantage for Sprint, enabling us
to maximize our deep 2.5 GHz spectrum holdings. Massive MIMO will be key
to meeting our customers' growing demand for unlimited data, as well as
offering Gigabit LTE and 5G services."
Testing of Massive MIMO on the Sprint LTE Plus network in downtown
Seattle showed a capacity increase of approximately four times compared
to an 8T8R antenna. To showcase this capacity, Sprint convened 100
people with Samsung (News - Alert) Galaxy S7 phones and ran simultaneous file downloads
on a timed-test on all networks. The
testing showed a 100 percent success rate on the Massive
MIMO-powered Sprint network, which was a significantly higher result
compared to the other networks.
In Plano, Texas, Sprint and Ericsson also recently tested Ericsson's
64T64R Massive MIMO radios reaching peak speeds of more than 300 Mbps
using a single 20 MHz channel of 2.5 GHz spectrum.
For both field trials, Ericsson provided the radio network
infrastructure and backhaul equipment. Sprint and Ericsson together
developed the test cases and requirements, which included a variety of
performance scenarios involving multi-user and non-stationary
testing. The Radio Network infrastructure included Ericsson's
next-generation 5G-ready AIR6468 radio, and the backhaul equipment
utilized the MINI-LINK 6352 R2 microwave radios which can provide up to
10 Gbps of backhaul, future proofing the network for 5G.
Massive MIMO a Competitive Advantage for Sprint in 2018
The companies will use the field trial results in preparation for
commercial deployment of Massive MIMO in the U.S. beginning in 2018. In
cities across the U.S., Sprint plans to deploy 64T64R Massive MIMO
radios using its 2.5 GHz spectrum to increase capacity up to ten times.
The technology will become part of Sprint's extended network toolbox as
it works to densify and optimize the network, providing more capacity,
better reliability, and overall improved performance for customers. In
addition Massive MIMO is slated to power Gigabit LTE services, and t
will be a key element of Sprint's 5G network.
Nishant Batra, Head of Network Infrastructure, Ericsson says: "Ericsson
and Sprint have been collaborating on new technologies and continually
evolving Sprint's LTE network, laying the foundation for 5G. Our
next-generation 5G-ready TDD 64T64R Massive MIMO radio (AIR6468) will
help maximize spectral efficiency of Sprint's 2.5 GHz network. It will
also provide a cost-efficient way to support their customers' growing
appetite for increased capacity and high-speed data services. This will
be the industry's first live eCPRI installation, which allows for
several deployment and performance advantages to operators in the 5G
Massive MIMO is a differentiator for Sprint because it can be easily
deployed on high-band spectrum such as Sprint's 2.5 GHz spectrum.
Massive MIMO radios can support high-frequency bands with a small form
factor, whereas the physics of lower-frequency spectrum bands would
require radios far too large in size to manufacture and deploy on a
64T64R Massive MIMO radios use 128 antenna elements - many more than
what is used for 2T2R, 4T4R, or 8T8R in a typical 4G LTE network today.
These Massive MIMO antennas use advanced horizontal and vertical
beamforming technology to focus and transmit cellular signals into
targeted locations. This more efficient use of spectrum delivers faster
speeds and provides more data capacity to customers in high-traffic
By 2022, Ericsson expects video applications to drive an eight-fold
increase in mobile data traffic. Massive MIMO will be a key technology
to enable users to enjoy data-intensive services and advanced features
and applications on Sprint's LTE Plus network. When deployed on the
network, Massive MIMO can provide all mobile device users with
performance improvements, and those with the latest generation of
devices with the most antenna elements will see the best performance.
Sprint and Ericsson are demonstrating Massive MIMO daily at Mobile World
Congress Americas in the Sprint Booth in Hall North Stand N.866
September 12 - 14, 2017.
Showcasing the Capacity of Massive MIMO - Seattle Field Trial:
Behind the Scenes with Massive MIMO - Seattle Field Trial:
Sprint (NYSE:S) is a communications services company that creates more
and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about
most. Sprint served 53.7 million connections as of June 30, 2017 and is
widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative
technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national
carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including
Virgin Mobile (News - Alert) USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant
national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier
1 Internet backbone. Sprint has been named to the Dow Jones
Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America for the past five years. You
can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com
Ericsson is a world leader in communications technology and services
with headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. Our organization consists of
more than 111,000 experts who provide customers in 180 countries with
innovative solutions and services. Together we are building a more
connected future where anyone and any industry is empowered to reach
their full potential. Net sales in 2016 were SEK 222.6 billion (USD 24.5
billion). The Ericsson stock is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and on NASDAQ
in New York. Read more on www.ericsson.com.
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