Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Massive MiMo makes market sense for 5G


Chinese vendor ZTE added to the hype and complexity around 5G – a mobile standard that has not yet officially been defined – by talking up the concept of ‘pre-5G’ technology.

The company claimed that pre-5G will be available much sooner than 5G, which has a timeframe for commercial launch of beyond 2020. And ZTE believes pre-5G will deliver a comparable user experience to eventual 5G technology, offering high throughput and low latency.

“Even though the industry is still working on 5G standardisation, we already have a lot of clarity on 5G user experience and the 5G candidate technologies,” ZTE’s Xiang Jiying, CTO of wireless, said in a statement today. “Therefore, pre-5G can be defined and implemented even before 5G becomes standardised.”

The executive claimed pre-5G technology will incorporate certain “key” 5G technologies which can be run over existing 4G LTE equipment.

For example, he pushed the idea that Massive MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple Output) has been recognised as a 5G technology, claiming ZTE has been developing pre-commercial Massive MIMO products without the need to modify today’s 4G air interface.

“Thus Massive MIMO has become an important part of pre-5G,” noted ZTE’s statement.

“In addition, ZTE has been investing heavily in 4G vector processing chips for several years, which have an extensible software architecture and strong processing capacity and can meet pre-5G requirements by modifying instruction sets rather than changing the hardware,” it added.

It seems that this effort by ZTE is just the latest bid by a supplier to grab ‘5G’ mindshare. The vendor is no stranger to 5G media announcements, and neither are companies such asSamsung and Huawei.

Last month Mobile World Live reported on how Huawei is even pushing the concept of ‘4.5G’ technology, an acronym that will likely draw comparisons to ZTE’s new ‘pre-5G’ moniker.