Companies Making 5G Magic with Satellites & Massive MIMO

Published on 16 Sep 2019

As 5G is rolled out, both new and old technologies are being included in telecommunications standards for the first time. Massive MIMO and Satellites are examples of these. But which companies are really pushing the real-world deployment of Satellites and Massive MIMO? In preparation for the CW Technology & Engineering Conference on the 26 September, CW has compiled a report that lists some of the movers and shakers in these fields.

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Register for 5G, Satellites & Magic MIMO (26 September, Cambridge)

5G, the next generation of mobile telecommunications has promised greater speeds, greater bandwidth and greater coverage to consumers and businesses. But what new technologies underpin this promise? And what are companies currently delivering? With 5G now moving from theory into practice, this CW Report highlights the businesses that are making waves in two of the 5G solutions that are offered:  one new, one that will soon celebrate its 60th birthday.

Satellites have been a factor in the telecommunications world since the first system for this purpose was launched into space in 1962. In many ways it is simply just one other radio system used to connect people on a local, regional or global level. However, until 5G, terrestrial networks and space networks were separate. No more – 3GPP has been taking the first steps towards accepting satellites into their radio standards – for the first time the satellite network will be designed, from the start, to interoperate with other radio networks. The reason that the industry now sees this as necessary is clear: satellite coverage reaches areas that terrestrial can’t, for example sea and air; it can be a cost-effective approach for connecting rural areas; it provides service continuity for 5G mobile IoT use cases; and can administer efficient multicast broadband services. Couple this with the fact that the satellite industry has been undergoing a rapid evolution over the past decade and that there are now plenty of LEO constellations in operation able to support mobile latency requirements, and you have your answer. 

Meanwhile, Massive MIMO is the new kid on the block and early deployments are showing its ability to vastly increase network capacity and decimate per bit traffic cost without needing more spectrum. A Massive MIMO network allows more than one data signal to be transmitted and received simultaneously over the same radio channel; they have a high number of antennas (compared to standard MIMO networks that consist of two or four antennas) and utilise beam forming for greater spectral efficiency.  Tom Marzetta’s article, “Noncooperative Cellular Wireless with Unlimited Numbers of Base Station Antennas” boosted work already being done and now we are seeing the technology being integrated into the 5G deployments of most network operators. It appears to be the holy grail answer to increased demand by consumers and businesses.

Companies included in the report are:

3GPP CommAgility Isotropic Satellite Applications Catapult
Airbus Ericsson Nokia Satixfy UK Ltd
Airspan European Space Agency OneWeb TTP
Avanti Communications Huawei Qualcomm VIAVI
BT Inmarsat Rohde & Schwarz Vodafone
CGI Iridium Samsung Electronics

If you would like to find out more about the role of Satellites, Massive MIMO or other new technologies contributing to 5G, register today for the CW Technology & Engineering Conference on 26 September in Cambridge.

Is your company not in the report? Contact CW to be included in future updates.

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