UK testing technology provider Anite declared it is the first to offer testing of 4x4 downlink (DL) MIMO device designs and products to chipset and device manufacturers.
Anite said it has been working closely with an unnamed device manufacturer using the Anite development toolset for early stage testing to achieve the milestone. "Complex antenna configurations such as 4x4 DL MIMO require advanced testing capability," noted Paul Beaver, Anite's products director.
MIMO is considered a key feature in LTE and LTE-Advanced. It enables delivery of superior data rates without the addition of bandwidth or transmit power. Because 4x4 DL MIMO-capable devices require greater antenna separation/isolation, the technology has been used in larger form factors such as phablets, laptops with embedded modems and set-top boxes, as well as in various automotive applications, Anite noted.
Despite the promise of MIMO, the technology is apparently vastly underutilized in commercial LTE networks. A recent study from Signals Research Group indicates that MIMO utilization rates, or the percentage of time devices use MIMO, is surprisingly low.
That can be attributed in part to the RF frontend of the antenna design in particular devices. But the use of applications that do not consume lots of data also means eNodeBs will not use MIMO by design, simply because there is not a lot of data to deal with. In addition, use of mobile devices deep within the bowels of buildings, such as high-rises, often obviates the use of MIMO even for video consumption, said Michael Thelander, Signals Research's founder and CEO.
- see this Anite release
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