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Massive MIMO increasing capacity and spectral efficiency

Multi-antenna transmission already plays an important role in current generations of mobile communication and will be even more central in the 5G era.

Single-user MIMO, and Multi-user MIMO are Massive MIMO implementations to increase user data speeds and system capacity to meet 5G standards. Single-user MIMO (SU-MIMO), and Multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) leverage Massive MIMO by dynamically transmitting data as highly-focused beams and exploiting multipath propagation and spatial multiplexing to simultaneously send and receive more than one data signal over the same radio channel. By beam steering a highly-focused beam, a stronger radio signal with higher data throughput is delivered over a greater distance using less energy.

In Single-user MIMO, multiple data signals can be sent to a single user. Multi-user MIMO further increases capacity by enabling multiple users to simultaneously utilize the same time and frequency resources. In practice, Multi-user MIMO dynamically switches between Single-user MIMO and Multi-User MIMO - depending upon network conditions and the application requirements - in addition to modifying the number and shape of the beams to deliver excellent performance to each network user.

In summary, Single-user MIMO, and Multi-User MIMO both improve the end user experience, and significantly increases the network capacity and coverage while reducing interference. Through the intelligent reuse of system resources, Multi-user MIMO further increases capacity by transmitting data to multiple user devices using the same time and frequency resources with coordinated beam forming and beam steering.

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5G Plug‑Ins

To facilitate a rapid evolution of 5G access networks and the successful adoption of 5G services, we have announced 5G Plug-Ins - software-driven innovations that bring essential 5G technology concepts to today's cellular networks.

Understanding Ericsson 5G Plug-Ins

5G will usher in a shift from the network-focused concept of cells to the user-focused concept of beams. Instead of sending out energy in all directions, beams concentrate the energy to send the signal more directly to the user.