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Massive MIMO antennas will deliver good performance, but high prices may hinder 5G roll-outs

15 March 2021 | Research

Roberto Kompany

Article | PDF (2 pages) | Next-Generation Wireless Networks


"The lack of ability to mix and match RAN components from different vendors limits competition, which will result in high 5G deployment costs and a lower quality of experience."

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Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona has been postponed from February 2021 until June 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Telecoms vendors have historically used this event to showcase the progress that they have made during the previous year and indeed, Ericsson chose to announce its latest massive multi-input, multi-output (MIMO) antenna products in the week that MWC was originally scheduled for.

Ericsson has reduced the size and weight of its units, which will help to drive down cost. This is important, because cost is a key reason why many of the mobile network operators (MNOs) that have launched 5G networks (of which there are over 150) are not using massive MIMO antennas in all their 5G locations.

In this article, we will analyse some of the challenges that MNOs are facing when deploying massive MIMO antennas and will describe how the industry can use open RAN initiatives to help.

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