Verizon exec hints at ongoing MIMO deployment efforts

Cellular antennas on tower

Verizon is in the midst of a major new advertising campaign focused on the carrier aggregation technology it’s deploying as part of its move to the LTE Advanced network standard. However, Verizon’s Mike Haberman said the carrier is also looking to deploy other technologies in the LTE Advanced lineup, including advanced multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO).

“There’s just steps that LTE can continue to improve and certainly we’re going to take advantage of that,” Haberman, VP of network for Verizon’s wireless business, told FierceWireless. “There are many other features in LTE Advanced such as multiple-input, multiple-output, and certainly we’ll take advantage of those as well. So LTE is still going to develop.”

Added Haberman: “We just focused on carrier aggregation [in Verizon’s recent LTE Advanced announcement], because that’s just the one that’s most apparent to the customer. Multiple-input, multiple-output, while nice – carrier aggregation has a more profound impact on the customer.”

When questioned specifically about Verizon’s plans for advanced MIMO, Haberman confirmed that “that’s in the process of being deployed also.” He declined to provide any details.

This isn’t the first time Haberman has hinted at Verizon’s MIMO plans. In 2014, Haberman said Verizon's network supported 2x2 MIMO – two transmitters and two receivers –which is a standard for LTE. But he said Verizon at some point in the future would be launching products that support 4x4 MIMO, which he said will improve devices' uplink performance and enhance coverage.

And in 2015, Haberman confirmed to Wells Fargo that Verizon is currently deploying 4x4 MIMO technology, involving 4 transmitters and 4 receivers, which he said should enhance both Verizon’s coverage and improve its LTE network performance.

Verizon isn’t the only carrier moving forward with more advanced types of MIMO. “MIMO is coming this year for us,” T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said during the carrier’s recent quarterly conference call with analysts, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript of the event. “So this is another maybe a tone competitively for the other folks out there. I mean, we're predominantly 2x4 today on MIMO, we'll be 4x4 this year.”

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