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IPL 2018: Airtel to deploy massive MIMO pre-5G networks across venues

This massive MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) technology can expand network capacity by five to seven times on the same spectrum

BS Web Team 

Indian Premiere League, IPL
(Photo courtesy: IPL)

After tying up with Hotstar for free live streaming of IPL matches on the Airtle TV app, telecom major Bharti Airtel is set to deploy a pre-5G-technology at IPL match venues. The MIMO pre-5G-technology will enhance Airtel's network capacity by up to seven times and provide high-speed connection to its subscribers.

"Airtel will deploy the advanced Massive MIMO Pre-5G technology across IPL match venues. Massive MIMO expands existing network capacity by five to seven times over existing spectrum. Customers will be able to experience superfast data speeds on Airtel's 4G network despite the very large number of concurrent users on the network sites at the venue," the company said in a statement.

Airtel will deploy the Massive MIMO solution in IPL (Indian Premier League) match venues in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mohali, Indore, Jaipur, Bengaluru and Chennai.

According to the company, the Massive MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) technology expands network capacity by five to seven times on the same spectrum, which will enable customers to enjoy seamless and superfast data speeds despite the very large number of users in and around the stadia.

"We believe this will enhance the digital experience for our customers and enable them to share, post and stream content seamlessly even in locations with massive crowds," he added.

What is MIMO technology?

MIMO is a wireless technology that allows the transmitting and receiving of more than one data signal simultaneously over the same radio channel.

In a MIMO system, more than one antenna is physically packed together in a small area to use higher frequencies than current mobile network standards. While in Massive MIMO technology the number of antennas may exceed beyond 100.

MIMO and 5G

Standard MIMO principles are already in use in multiple Wi-Fi and 4G standards, while massive MIMO technology is expected to be key enabler and foundational component of 5G.

One of the key roles of any 5G network will be to handle the huge increase in data usage that’s around the corner.

Massive MIMO’s ability to serve multiple users – and multiple devices – simultaneously within a condensed area while maintaining fast data rates and consistent performance makes it the perfect technology to address the needs of the forthcoming 5G era.

Can current phones use Massive MIMO?

While Massive MIMO is predominantly a 5G technology, there are a number of current smartphones that can take advantage of it on current 4G networks.

These devices include the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, the HTC 10 and U11, the Huawei P9 and P10, the LG G5 and G6, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S8, and the Sony Xperia X and XZ.

However, it is worth noting that even older or less capable phones that do not support MIMO will be able to benefit from the more stable, more sensitive network environment that Massive MIMO will produce.

First Published: Sat, April 07 2018. 14:54 IST