Washington DC: A team of researchers has set a new world record in 5G wireless spectrum efficiency, achieving 1.59Gbit/s over a 20MHz radio channel.
Engineers from the Universities of Bristol and Lund, working alongside National Instruments (NI), demonstrated how a massive antenna system can offer a 12-fold increase in spectrum efficiency compared with current 4G cellular technology.
Multiple antenna technology, referred to as MIMO, is already used in many Wi-Fi routers and 4G cellular phone systems. Normally this involves up to four antennas at a base station. 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.
Bristol's Massive MIMO system used for the demo operates at a carrier frequency of 3.5GHz and supports simultaneous wireless connectivity to up to 12 single antenna clients. Each client shares a common 20MHz radio channel. Complex digital signal processing algorithms unravel the individual data streams in the space domain seen by the antenna array.
The Massive MIMO demonstration was conducted in the atrium of Bristol's Merchant Venturers Building and achieved an unprecedented bandwidth efficiency of 79.4bit/s/Hz. This equates to a sum rate throughput of 1.59Gbit/s in a 20MHz channel.
Professor Andrew Nix, Head of the CSN Group and Dean of Engineering, said: "This activity reinforces our well established propagation and system modelling work by offering a new capability in model validation for Massive MIMO architectures. 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."