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India’s leading telecom operator, Bharti Airtel has announced the deployment of India’s first Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology which is an enabler for 5G networks. Airtel has started the first round of deployment in Bangalore & Kolkata and will later expand to other parts of the country.

Deployment of Massive MIMO is a part of Airtel’s ongoing network transformation program, Project Leap. Airtel customers will now be able to experience 2-3 times faster speeds on their existing 4G network. Data speeds will now be seamless even in indoors, crowded places and high-rise buildings. It will also enable multiple users and devices to work simultaneously without facing any congestion.

Massive MIMO is a pre-5G technology that will make India’s network future ready for meeting the data demands resulting from the ongoing digital revolution in India. Customers will be able to enjoy the faster data speeds on their existing 4G mobile devices without any upgrades or plan changes. The Massive MIMO technology will increase existing network capacity by 5 to 7 times using the existing spectrum.

What exactly is MIMO technology?

MIMO is a method for multiplying the capacity of a radio link using multiple transmit and receiver antennas. It uses multiple antennas located at both the source (transmitter), and destination (receiver). These antennas are linked in a way to minimize errors and increase the efficiency of a network.

Airtel Massive MIMO 5G LTE

MIMO creates 3D beams on both horizontal and vertical planes towards users located within its coverage area. This helps in improving coverage and reducing interference across users in different beams, and the signal quality by 2-3 decibel, thereby improving the user experience, cell capacity, and spectrum efficiency. Notably, MIMO uses green technology, which helps reducing carbon footprint.

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Moreover, Airtel has also announced a strategic partnership with Korea’s SK Telecom to develop its expertise in building the most advanced telecom network in India. Airtel and SKT will collaborate for building an ecosystem for the introduction of evolved technology standards of 5G, Internet of Things (IoT) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) in India.

With the deployment of MIMO, India has joined a select group of countries in the world that have deployed this advanced technology.

Abhay Savargaonkar, Director – Networks, Bharti Airtel said,

“India is fast striding towards exponential and unprecedented data growth.  Our latest deployment of Massive MIMO will help us serve this demand and would also give an impetus to build a future-ready network. The deployment gives us a strategic advantage to provide faster speeds and enhanced user experience for our customers, thereby translating into improved spectrum efficiency.”