Huawei hits 697.3 Mbps in FDD field trial with China Unicom

Huawei MIMO (Huawei)
Massive MIMO uses a large array of antennas to provide precise control of beam width and angle in vertical and horizontal directions. (Image: Huawei)

Describing it as the world’s first FDD Massive MIMO field verification, Huawei and China Unicom Group achieved a peak network rate of 697.3 Mbps using an existing two-antenna receiving terminal on the 20 MHz spectrum—or 4.8 times that of traditional FDD LTE.

It’s all part of Huawei’s 4.5G Evolution technology, which is designed to help operators evolve to 5G while protecting the operator’s investment.

The field test, based on 20 MHz spectrum, used an FDD LTE commercial terminal and demonstrated that the average mobile phone rate grows up to 87 Mbps, which can support the smooth watching of a 4K high-definition video, according to Huawei.

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Huawei says Massive MIMO solutions have three typical characteristics: AAU hardware form, 3G user-level beamforming and multiuser MIMO.

AAU is an integrated active antenna solution from Huawei that integrates RF and antenna elements to ensure the reliability of Massive MIMO solutions and greatly enhances the feasibility of the project. If RF and antenna were separated, engineering feasibility and system reliability would be extremely challenging.

As for 3D user-level beamforming, Massive MIMO uses a large array of antennas to provide precise control of beam width and angle in both vertical and horizontal directions, enabling 3D user-level beamforming, therefore improving network coverage and reducing overall network interference.

Based on 3D user beamforming, accurate channel estimation and user algorithms, Massive MIMO allows multiple terminals to simultaneously reuse the same spectrum resources, thereby further enhancing network capacity, Huawei explained.

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The vendor also noted that 3GPP’s Release 10 defines an 8-port multiantenna technology in TM9 mode. Release 13 defines a 16-port multiantenna technology, and Release 14 defines 32-port multiantenna technology. With commercialization of the terminals supporting those protocols, the spectral efficiency of Massive MIMO will be further enhanced in the future.

“Our goal is to bring considerable commercial value to operators through innovative technology,” Cao Ming, president of Huawei’s FDD product line, said in a press release. “This successful field verification between Huawei and China Unicom once again demonstrated the innovative capability of Huawei’s 4.5G Evolution technology.”

Of course, Huawei isn’t the only Chinese vendor touting Massive MIMO. Earlier this month, ZTE announced that it has successfully competed joint testing of its proprietary Pre5G FDD Massive MIMO solution in partnership with China Telecom Innovation Center.

The results of that test showed ZTE’s Pre5G FDD Massive MIMO solution enhanced cell throughput by more than three times using existing frequency spectrum and 4G LTE devices.

The test demonstrated that ZTE’s solution could be used to deliver ultrafast capabilities of its Pre5G FDD Massive MIMO solution on existing FDD-LTE infrastructure without requiring users to change their mobile devices and terminals. The FDD Massive MIMO solution is expected to be deployed by China Telecom in 2017.