Ericsson and Hong Kong mobile network operator SmarTone have begun to trial FDD (Frequency Division Duplex) massive MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) technology as part of the operator’s network evolution plan towards 5G, said the companies in a press event in Hong Kong Monday.
The trial, involving FDD massive MIMO on 1800 MHz, represents the first of its kind for operators in Hong Kong. The trial comes ahead of 2018's planned deployment of AIR 3246, Ericsson’s new radio that can support massive MIMO over 4G/LTE with Ericsson’s 5G massive MIMO plug-in, said the companies.
“Our extension of the strategic partnership with Ericsson in October last year includes a five-year network evolution plan towards 5G,” said Stephen Chau, CTO, SmarTone. “Ericsson’s FDD massive MIMO solution will play an instrumental part in providing our customers in dense urban environments with [the] enhanced user experiences they have come to expect from SmarTone.”
“We are working closely with SmarTone to develop, trial, and deploy key 5G technologies that will further enhance the user experience,” said Nishant Batra, head of product area network infrastructure, Ericsson. The recent LAA field trial, and now the trial of FDD massive MIMO, enable us to jointly shape the next-generation network technology.”
Ericsson recently launched its first radio, AIR 3246, supporting FDD massive MIMO for both 4G and 5G. The technology is designed to enable operators—especially in metropolitan areas—to bring 5G to subscribers using today’s mid-band spectrum and boost capacity in their LTE networks.