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, 

Huiman Zhu 23010,000 Cell Sites Shipped - All TDD, Not FDD

Zhu Huimin indicates Huawei is moving to high volume production. I once suggested, "Don't believe any equipment claims until 10,000 are deployed." Most problems, including those from heavy use, will appear by then. By that test, Massive MIMO - at least the TDD variety - is now solid. The first announcements of Massive MIMO commercial use were just after a year ago. Softbank Japan was the pioneer; I broke the news that China Telecom was also buying thousands. Although Huawei does have a 32x32 antenna FDD Massive MIMO, her recommendation is to stick with 8x8 in FDD spectrum.

CEO Gavin Patterson of British Telecom, CTO Bruno Jacobfeurborn of Deutsche Telekom, and SVP Arnaud Vamparys of FT Orange all committed to deploying Massive MIMO. (I've added them to the map.) There is no doubt that TDD MM works and will rapidly deploy around the world. Two Huawei executive confirmed to me Massive MIMO is ready for Africa. The need is great; there are very few landlines so almost all the Internet connections are mobile.

African wireless sucks, with caps so low video watching is severely restricted. The orders haven't been announced, but Vodacom South Africa and Safaricom Kenya are both very interested. Ten African countries have per capita income similar to India, where all three carriers likely to survive now moving rapidly. 

All are TDD; FDD is only in trials, with major problems likely to limit deployment. Zhu is very uncertain about FDD. A senior colleague agrees, not expecting many orders for FDD systems. 

Ericsson has shipped FDD units to Verizon to test. Huawei and ZTE have also announced tests.

In 1999, DSL reached a similar threshold of 10,000 deployed. By two years later, growth reached hockey stick levels and today is ~400M lines.

Massive MIMO is ready for hockey stick growth.



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.