Massive MIMO brings high-speed mobile internet to football fans

Europe’s largest deployment of Massive MIMO has benefitted countless football fans in Russia thanks to a partnership between Ericsson and MTS.
Massive MIMO technology brings mobile network to stadium

More than 1.5 million football fans were expected to descend on 11 cities in Russia to cheer on their national teams at this year’s global soccer tournament from June 14 to July 15.

To cater for this vast influx of supporters, MTS was looking for a partner that could help the Russian service provider vastly improve network capacity, so visitors could experience high-speed mobile internet in and around the tournament venues.

The answer was to provide MTS with Europe’s largest deployment of Massive MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) to date, and to install AIR 6468 for MTS at more than 40 sites across seven of the 11 cities.

Our Massive MIMO technology, which uses Ericsson equipment, improves capacity by transmitting data to multiple user devices using the same time and frequency resources with coordinated beam forming and beam steering. The technology plays an important role in the current evolution of mobile communication by easing the journey to 5G.

Ericsson AIR 6468 is the first New Radio (NR)-capable radio designed for compatibility with the 5G NR standard that also supports LTE. It features 64 transmit and 64 receive antennas enabling it to support our 5G plug-ins for both Massive MIMO and Multi-User MIMO.

Ericsson’s Massive MIMO deployment for MTS including AIR 6468 gave hundreds of thousands of football fans a mobile experience like never before. The ultra-high data speeds meant the vast numbers of people were able to enjoy super-fast mobile internet without any loss in speed or quality, regardless of whether they were in the stadiums, in fan zones, at selected transportation hot spots, or at some of Russia’s most famous landmarks.


  • Vast improvements to increase network capacity for MTS
  • Need to provide high-speed mobile internet to hundreds of thousands of fans
  • Multiple sites had to be included


  • Europe’s largest Massive MIMO deployment
  • Installation of AIR 6468 for MTS at more than 40 sites in seven cities
  • Massive MIMO eases the transformation to 5G for MTS


  • Massive MIMO including AIR 6468 gave fans a unique mobile experience
  • Thousands enjoyed ultra-high data speeds
  • Same high speed and quality at multiple sites

Customer profile

MTS is the leading telecommunications group in Russia, Central and Eastern Europe. It provides wireless internet access and fixed voice, broadband and pay-TV to over 100 million customers.

Products and solutions

5G NR Radio

With the AIR 6468 5G NR radio, Ericsson is first to deliver all components of a 5G access network and support mobile operators with 5G components - such as massive MIMO and multi-user MIMO - as early as 2017.

Ericsson Radio System - Portfolio

The Radio System consists of hardware and software for radio, baseband, power, enclosure, antenna and site solutions, the industry-leading MINI-LINK portfolio for microwave transmission and a fully integrated IP Router portfolio, all managed by a common management system.