Vodafone Australia has launched a trial of massive multiple input multiple input (Massive MIMO) technology at a site in Sydney.
The operator announced it has deployed a Massive MIMO trial site in the suburb of Parramatta. Vodafone also plans to deploy the technology, which it is marketing as 4.9G, in four other sites, including at least two more in Sydney.
The trial is using 1800-MHz FDD spectrum, which was first demonstrated for use in Massive MIMO by Vodafone in 2017, achieving a cell throughput speed of 717Mbps across eight devices.
Vodafone Australia CTO Kevin Millroy said the trial and subsequent rollout of FDD Massive MIMO will provide customers with an exponential increase in capacity.
“4.9G is supercharging our network, with customers in 4.9G areas to enjoy a higher quality network experience, smoother streaming, and more consistent speeds, even in times of high usage,” he said.
“The trial is another significant step towards 5G and we’ll be rolling out 4.9G to more areas as the year progresses... Vodafone is well on the way to be 5G-ready once compatible spectrum becomes available, with the rollout of our fiber transmission network nearing completion and the on-going project to virtualize our core network.”
He said data usage on the Vodafone Australia network grew nearly 40% in 2017, and is expected to continue to grow with the introduction of the operator's unlimited mobile data plans.