Nokia and AT&T are working with MIMO to develop a 5G uplink

01. 03. 2022 Tuesday / By: Robert Denes / Business / Exact time: BST / Print this page

The huge demand for new user experiences in the 5G-Advanced era requires more uplink performance from networks.

1 March 2022

ESPOO - Nokia today announced that Bell Labs is experimenting with AT&T to develop Distributed Massive MIMO (DmMIMO), an innovation that will significantly increase the uplink capacity and speed of 5G networks without the need for an overly complicated solution.

The huge demand for new user experiences in the 5G-Advanced era requires more uplink performance from networks. DMIMO allows devices to take advantage of signal propagation to multiple cells or antenna panels in the network to establish a connection, thereby converting noise into a useful signal and increasing the uplink transmission rate. Data transmission is combined by multiple antenna panels and cell-sites through distributed baseband processing. The processing load is redistributed between the radio units of the cell-sites and the central processing unit, reducing the fronthaul capacity on the cells and thus reducing the cost.

Nokia is working with AT&T to validate DmMIMO and testing proof-of-concept technology in AT&T labs. Bell Labs ’DmMIMO simulations showed a 60-90% increase in 5G uplink capacity compared to single-panel systems with similar configurations. While other techniques go to the detriment of downlink capacity, DmMIMO significantly increases uplink capacity without sacrificing performance.

AT&T Labs provides expertise in laboratory and field validation of cutting-edge new technologies. For example, AT&T Labs described in detail the network implementation of each city, which was used for detailed ray-tracing simulations to understand the benefits of DmMIMO in real-world scenarios. Bell Labs also benefits from AT & T Labs' 5G Testbed facilities, whose tops and columns are connected to server racks in a laboratory environment via fiber optic networks. This capability allows experimentation to validate and develop the technology, leading to more efficient implementation of DmMIMO technology in the future.

Nishant Batra, Nokia’s Chief Strategy and Technology Officer said: “Managing uplink speeds is becoming critical as consumers become more content creators and consumers, video conferencing is becoming a cornerstone of the telecom era, and many industrial Internet applications require higher uplink speeds. . When 5G-Advanced networks go online, the network will improve in several dimensions, expanding and expanding its capabilities. Even today, when we focus on building 5G mid-band spectrum in the United States, there are opportunities for technologies like this that maximize the resources available. We believe that rugged distributed MIMO will be a critical component of networking in the 5G-Advanced era to help meet these needs with significant uplink gains without sacrificing downlink performance. Three decades ago, Bell Labs and AT&T invented MIMO, so it’s fair to continue this groundbreaking work together for the next generation of MIMO.

Andre Fuetsch, AT&T’s Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Network Services, said: “AT&T and Nokia have been working together for a long time on new network technologies, and I welcome this strategic partnership to develop distributed, rugged MIMO technology. In the 5G-Advanced period, new applications such as eXtended Reality (XR) will put more strain on the uplink than normal broadband traffic. Technologies such as Distributed Massive MIMO show that there is scope to improve uplink capacity in the right scenarios. DMIMO is also a technology that has the potential for the next generation of wireless networks. Therefore,

In addition to uplink enhancements, migrating to DmMIMO can change the configuration of networks, making it easier to deploy smaller antenna arrays per site. This reduces weight, resulting in smaller and lighter parts as well as lower energy consumption. In alternative configurations, DmMIMO can also be used to increase downlink capacity, providing incredible flexibility for operators to apply the technology.

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