Vodafone starts deploying its first massive MIMO sites

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Vodafone starts deploying its first massive MIMO sites

Three of the first five sites are in Sydney.

Vodafone is rolling out the first three massive multiple input multiple output (MIMO) sites on its mobile network in Sydney.

The telco said today it had switched on a massive MIMO site in Parramatta, and will follow that up with upgrades to mobile infrastructure in Chinatown and Haymarket in the southern part of the CBD.

Vodafone committed to massive MIMO in September last year following a “field demonstration” of the technology at Cronulla in Sydney’s south.

The Parramatta, Chinatown and Haymarket sites will be part of a five-site production trial of the technology.

The location of the other two sites was not disclosed.

“The sites selected for the trial are in high-density, high usage areas where we can really exercise the benefits we saw during the field demonstration,” Vodafone CTO Kevin Millroy said in a statement.

Vodafone said that “select sites throughout 2018” would be added to the massive MIMO upgrade list.

Massive MIMO presents mobile carriers with an opportunity to get more capacity from the same amount of spectrum in a given area.

Vodafone’s field demonstration showed the technology could raise cell site capacity by between three and five times. Users could also expect higher mobile speeds.

Vodafone is not alone in its pursuit of MIMO technologies.

Telstra has already committed to bring 4x4 MIMO at “80 percent of its 4G sites”.

In the backend of last year, Optus went live with “three-carrier channel aggregation massive MIMO in Sydney, delivering speeds of over 800Mbps to customers”.

Optus said in financial filings that it would bring the technology to other capital cities during early to mid 2018.

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