Airtel today announced deployment of India’s first Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology, which is a pre-5G technology that will make Airtel’s network future ready for meeting the data demand in India. Airtel said that it has started deploying in Bangalore and Kolkata and will expand to other parts of the country soon.
As a part of Airtel’s network transformation program, Project Leap, Massive MIMO technology will expand existing network capacity by five to seven times using the existing spectrum, thereby improving spectral efficiency. Airtel said that customers will be able to experience two to three times superfast speeds on the existing 4G network on their existing 4G mobile devices without any upgrades or plan change.
“Data speeds will now also be seamless, offering enhanced user experience even indoors, in crowded places and high rise buildings. It would enable multiple users and multiple devices to work simultaneously without facing any congestion or experience issues especially at hotspot locations,” added Airtel.
Massive MIMO creates 3D beams both on horizontal and vertical planes towards users located within its coverage footprint. This helps in improving coverage and reducing interference across users in different beams, thereby improving signal quality (SINR) by 2-3dB. Serving multiple users by re-using same set of resource blocks (MU-MIMO) with improved signal quality helps in improving user experience, cell capacity and spectrum efficiency.
Commenting on the roll out, Abhay Savargaonkar, Director – Networks, Bharti Airtel said:
India is fast striding towards exponential and unprecedented data growth. Our latest deployment of Massive MIMO, will help us serve this demand and would also give an impetus to build a future ready network. The deployment gives us a strategic advantage to provide faster speeds and enhanced user experience for our customers, thereby translating into improved spectrum efficiency.