Vodafone India, Reliance Jio, and Idea Cellular are all working towards the goal of ushering in the age of 5G networks in India, investing its resources in massive MIMO (multiple input multiple output). The technology is a key step towards 5G connectivity and can make current 4G coverage much better.
To be clear, 5G will probably make its way to India at some point after 2020, so it’ll take a while for it to arrive. Till then, telecom operators have to make their networks ready for the transition. Massive MIMO is an important part of that since it can increase the capacity of a base station 5 to 7 times, reducing interference and boosting transmissions in the process.
Massive MIMO can additionally be used in congested, high traffic areas to improve coverage indoors and in tall buildings. Companies benefit since it’ll allow brands to enhance signal reception for better efficiency and data rates at the same capacity.
Meanwhile, customers benefit since they’ll be able to buffer and download content much faster at rates of 30Mbps/35Mbps on average and 50Mbps at peak times. 4G speeds top out at about 16Mbps in comparison. Telcos are planning to integrate massive MIMO with its current 4G networks in order to make things better.
Airtel has already begun the first round of deployment in Bangalore and Kolkata for massive MIMO. Idea and Vodafone are in the process of doing the same. Reliance Jio is at present conducting trials in partnership with ZTE.