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Massive MIMO– Gives large capacity gain, coverage, and energy efficiency

As demand for mobile broadband services explodes, operators are faced with the need to to get much more capacity from their spectrum.

Answering this challenge is Massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology. Conventional MIMO typically uses two transmit and two receive antenna elements to double the capacity.

Developed by Nokia’s Bell Labs, Massive MIMO goes further, using many simultaneous transmit and receive streams controlled by advanced software to create much higher network capacity.

Learn about Massive MIMO and 3D Beamforming in simple terms in this video:

Nokia’s AirScale massive MIMO Adaptive Antenna deploys 64 transmit and 64 receive streams,16 layer Massive MIMO, and Carrier Aggregation with broad range of customized variants to deliver up to five times more network capacity, high peak downlink throughput, significantly improved uplink, and greater coverage

Massive MIMO also enhances conventional beamforming, giving wider coverage and better indoor penetration.

With Massive MIMO, operators now have a powerful new tool to boost capacity using their existing spectrum.

See how Nokia and Sprint are paving the path to 5G with Massive MIMO in this video:


  • Can be deployed in today’s LTE networks in Single RAN configuration for FDD and TDD and upgradable to 5G
  • Up to five times the capacity of conventional MIMO plus coverage of lower band
  • Up to eight times gain in uplink and up to five times gain in downlink
  • High spectral efficiency and energy efficiency


  • The extended coverage offered by Massive MIMO means operators can avoid site densification that entails costly new base station sites.
  • AirScale massive MIMO Adaptive Antenna with 3D beamforming works with existing 3GPP Release 9 devices on LTE TDD networks – no need to wait for 5G to get the benefits.
  • 3D beamforming uses a Massive MIMO antenna to create multiple vertical beam cells and horizontal sharp beam for a distant user, increasing throughput and capacity.
  • Massive MIMO is a basic building block of Nokia 4.9G, which will bring LTE network performance to near 5G levels.

Customer Cases

Nokia and Sprint have jointly proven the benefits of Massive MIMO, with Sprint becoming first U.S. operator to demonstrate massive MIMO for TDD-LTE spectrum with 64T64R, for both the downlink and uplink on an existing LTE frequency.