Massive MIMO Map Feb 2018 450

Dark blue: Building actively: China Mobile, Softbank Japan, Bharti India, Jio India, Vodafone India, Singtel, Globe Phillippines, Sprint USA

Medium: Announced: DT, FT/Orange, BT, Qatar, Verizon USA, T-Mobile Netherlands, Telekom South Africa  

Light blue: Talking: Vodafone England, Vodafone Turkey,
Safaricom Kenya, 

FDD SolvedVerizon First to Announce FDD Massive

They said it couldn't be done. They said nobody could do it. But Verizon and Ericsson now make the first announcement they are in the field with FDD Massive MIMO. They will deploy it wherever VZ needs capacity. 

For Massive MIMO to do its magic, the phones and other receivers need to constantly send upstream information about the signals they receive. Signaling overhead congestion was feared in FDD.

The first massive MIMO deployments were in higher frequencies designated for TDD. In FDD Massive MIMO: Soon Coming or Serious Issues? I report the doubts of experts including Tom Marzetta and Erik Larsson.

Lower frequency spectrum is allocated to FDD (Frequency Division Duplexing.) Some thought the signaling overhead of FDD would make it impractical as the network gets loaded. The illustration at left is now marked "solved."

Until we have results from loaded networks, we won't know whether FDD sacrifices a great deal of performance. Numerous others are also close to "deployment." I believe Sprint has a large number of cells already upgraded by Ericsson and will soon turn them on. 

The Chinese are also close as I report in China Telecom, China Unicom, ZTE, Huawei Plan FDD Massive MIMO. Bharti, Vodafone, and Jio haven't publicized whether they are using FDD or TDD. Given their spectrum holdings, I would guess it's FDD as well.

Verizon is only using a single 20 MHz carrier. Nishant Batra of Ericsson expects to deliver 3 carrier and even 5 carrier systems by the end of 2018.

Sanyogita Shamsunder of Verizon 18 months ago told me, "We must have Massive MIMO."

Here's the pr 

Verizon and Ericsson team up to deploy Massive MIMO


IRVINE, CA – Today Verizon and Ericsson reached another milestone in 4G LTE Advanced Technologies that will also serve as a stepping stone to 5G technology by completing their first deployment of FDD (Frequency Division Duplexing) Massive MIMO (Multiple Input – Multiple Output) on Verizon’s wireless network in Irvine, CA.


This deployment will improve both spectral and energy efficiency, increasing network capacity for current devices in the market. Further significant enhancements are expected to come as new devices evolve toward 5G. For customers, the result will be higher and more consistent speeds for using apps and uploading and downloading files.


While continuing to drive 5G development, the deployment of Massive MIMO offers very tangible benefits for our customers today. As we innovate, we learn and continue to lay the groundwork and set the standards for 5G technology,” said Nicola Palmer, Chief Network Officer of Verizon Wireless. “Our collaboration with Ericsson on this new deployment continues to drive industry-wide innovation and advancements.”


Today’s Massive MIMO deployment involves 16 transceiver radio units driving an array of 96 antenna elements supplied by Ericsson. The deployment is running on a 20 MHz block of AWS spectrum. Four way transmit has been widely deployed throughout the Verizon network and has contributed to significant 4G LTE advancements. In Massive MIMO - the next step of antenna array evolution - the high number of transmitters enables more possible signal paths. It also enables beamforming, which directs the beam from the cell site directly to where the customer is, dramatically cutting down on interference. Reduced interference results in higher and more consistent speeds for customers.


Niklas Heuveldop, Head of Market Area North America at Ericsson, said: “Massive MIMO is a key technology enabler for 5G, but already today, 4G LTE service providers and end users can benefit from the superior capacity and network performance this technology enables. The current trial is an important step in the collaboration we have with Verizon to prepare their network for 5G.”


As part of an Intelligent Edge Network that processes data where it’s generated, this Massive MIMO deployment is another step in technological innovation and leadership. As Verizon begins deploying Massive MIMO in the future throughout the network in places where there are capacity needs, customers with compatible devices will automatically begin taking advantage of this technological advancement.


The Site for Massive 230
dave ask

Massive MIMO is rapidly deploying across the world; Soon, I'll be adding many more countries to the Massive MIMO map. On average, adding 64 or 128 antennas triples the performance of the cell site at moderate cost. Ericsson, Huawei, and ZTE are shipping by the thousands.

Being a reporter is a great job for a geek. I'm not an engineer but I've learned from some of the best, including the primary inventors of DSL, cable modems, MIMO, Massive MIMO, and now 5G mmWave. Since 1999, I've done my best to get closer to the truth about broadband.

Send questions and news to Dave Burstein, Editor.