Small Channel, Massive Capacity

By Ray Savich   May 6, 2016

Everyone wants more HD video, faster downloads and less waiting. For your network, this means higher capacity, greater throughput and lower latency. Oh, and more radio spectrum.

For each bit of data transmitted over your wireless network, a certain amount of spectrum is needed. This is typically measured as bits per second per hertz, which translates into needing more spectrum to get higher network capacity.

The problem is getting that spectrum. Wide and clear channels are a luxury unavailable to many, especially when considering large networks and large network sectors. With more networks springing up each day, clear spectrum is becoming an endangered species.

Network expansion strategies relying on getting an extremely wide, clean channel to boost capacity are coming under increasing pressure worldwide from this simple fact – there just isn’t enough spectrum to go around to make this strategy viable.

And when you can’t expand your network, you can’t expand your business.

Massive MIMO tackles the spectrum problem in a different way. Take the existing channel you have, and by working with other advanced technologies such as beamforming, multiply the spectral efficiency of that same channel. Forget the idea that you need to multiply your spectrum to multiply your capacity.

What does this mean for your network?

More capacity, greater speeds to subscribers – with the same channel size you were using before. No spectrum re-planning, no increased susceptibility to interference, and no praying to the wireless gods to keep that new wide channel clear.

 Just remember: it’s not the size of your channel that matters, it’s what you do with it.