Bristol, Lund claim record in 5G spectral efficiency

Researchers at Bristol University in England and Lund University in Sweden, working with National Instruments (NI), describe how they've set a new world record in 5G spectrum efficiency by demonstrating how a massive antenna system can offer a 12-fold increase in spectrum efficiency compared with current 4G technology.

Using a flexible prototyping platform from NI based on LabVIEW system design software and PXI hardware, the Bristol configuration implements Massive MIMO, where 128 antennas are deployed at the base station, according to a press release. The release says the Massive MIMO demonstration achieved "an unprecedented bandwidth efficiency" of 79.4 bit/s/Hz, which equates to a sum rate throughput of 1.59 Gbit/s in a 20 MHz channel. The demo was conducted in the atrium of Bristol's Merchant Venturers Building.

The hardware in the demo, which was conducted at 3.5 GHz, was provided to Bristol University as part of the Bristol Is Open programmable city infrastructure. Lund University has a similar setup, the LuMaMi testbed, enabling researchers at both sites to work in parallel with their development.

"This activity reinforces our well established propagation and system modeling work by offering a new capability in model validation for Massive MIMO architectures," Andrew Nix, head of Bristol's CSN Group and dean of engineering, said in the release. "This is a truly exciting time for our PhD students and opens up further opportunities for collaborative research with our national and international partners."

Ove Edfors, professor of Radio Systems at Lund University, said: "We see massive MIMO as the most promising 5G technology and we have pushed it forward together with partners in Bristol and in our EU project MAMMOET. It is a pleasure seeing those efforts materialize."

The collaborative research project with Lund University and NI included five Bristol-based PhD students under the collective guidance of five academic supervisors. In Lund, seven PhD students and six supervisors contributed, making it a huge interdisciplinary research effort.

Their announcement comes as U.S. operators and vendors prepare to convene for the third annual Brooklyn 5G Summit, an event co-hosted by NYU Wireless and Nokia (NYSE:NOK), on April 20-22. Discussions will be centered around themes like overall 5G system design across sub 6 GHz to 100 GHz bands, progress in propagation and channel modeling to appropriately model 5G systems and novel concepts and accomplishments in providing new massive machine and mission critical communications. 

For more:
- see this release
- see this Inside 5G article

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