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Singtel is deploying Massive MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) technology commercially on its LTE-Advanced mobile network to improve the mobile data experience during special events.
A precursor to 5G technology, Massive MIMO is an advanced solution used to boost network capacity in highly dense environments. The company plans to use the technology to improve mobile data speeds by up to 200% during busy periods.
Singtel teamed up with Ericsson, Huawei and ZTE for the deployment of Massive MIMO technology at the Marina Bay area. Singtel rolled out the network boost at yesterday’s National Day celebrations, with other deployments planned for the Singapore F1 Night Race and the New Year countdown event.
“On the joyous occasion of our National Day celebrations, Singtel is pleased to be pairing our newly-acquired 2.5-GHz spectrum with Massive MIMO technology to expand our network capacity and offer our customers an enhanced mobile experience at this and other special events,” Singtel group CTO Mark Chong said.
Globally, large crowds gathered at events, such as concerts and festivals, use high volumes of data to share their experiences via real-time videos on social media.
This extraordinary behaviour generates a dramatic spike in network traffic, presenting a challenge for operators to provide fast and consistent data speeds.
Singtel has identified Massive MIMO as one of the solutions to the problem. Singtel will use Massive MIMO base stations featuring a large array of 64 antennas that improve spectral efficiency and cell capacity using innovations in radio technologies.
The innovative antenna system channels signals to users’ specific locations instead of broadcasting across a geographical area. This multiplies the number of data paths from the cellular base stations, thus increasing network capacity and improving user experience.