Digital India has always been a boon to the people of India. People have been moving towards the era of advanced technology where the older ones are being smartly replaced by the ones which are much better and improved versions of the existing ones.

Internet connections are the most vital needs that have been in demand for so long. Though India is very fast evolving country internet connection has always been a major problem everywhere. Due to this slow connectivity people of India faces many obstacles. Keeping this in view, many cellular networks are working upon many solutions for these problems. They are providing better connectivity at remote areas, (promising, if not providing), and a stable internet connection for people with their packs and plans. Reliance Jio had been in highlights of 2016 for free and unlimited mobile calls and internet plans for all the cellular devices supporting 4G in their devices for almost a year. Also, other networks have reduced their prices as well and now have a better plan in the market especially when they have reliance JIO to compete with.

Internet comes to everybody's use for several purposes so majorly everyone uses it for their purposes. According to a survey, the number of Internet users is growing very rapidly and in a couple of years, billions of users will take to technology in a big way. With a much high demand for the Internet with driverless cars, smart companies, 4K videos coming to the frame they would require a very high amount of data at a very good speed. Telecom Operators like Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone, Idea are trying massive MIMO to bring 5G connectivity to India. They are willing to introduce massive MIMO technology in India which would be a prerequisite for 5G connectivity. For this, they would surely require much time and infrastructure as well. They have though announced it to be executed by 2020 or near. Bharti Airtel has already provided services by deploying the technology in places like Kolkata and Bangalore and will soon be extending these services to Pune, Chandigarh, and Hyderabad very soon.

What actually is massive MIMO?

Massive MIMO stands for multiple input multiple outputs. It is a part of new tech that has been introduced in the market lately. Viewing deeply, MIMO essentially deploys many antennas both at the source and the destination. This would help in increasing the efficiency and reducing error in the network. MIMO has been used by other wireless networks like  LTE, 802.11n (WiFi), 802.11ac(WiFi) as a basic primary element as it enhances the antenna capacity and range for the devices.

How is Massive MIMO helpful?

It increases the capacity of the base station to a very high extent (five to seven times) to boost up the transmission signals to the devices and reduces the interference in the network. This would clearly be very efficient and thus would provide improved signals with better spectral efficiency and data rates. Massive MIMO will help us getting better network reliability, energy efficiency, and coverage.

Airtel had announced the deployment of Massive Multiple - Input Multiple - Output (MIMO) in parts of Kolkata and Bangalore. They claimed in a pre-statement for massive MIMO to be the first 5G-capable deployment in India. Massive MIMO helps in improving the coverage y creating horizontal and vertical beams in planes towards the users located between its coverage spectrum. It also reduces the interference across different beams of the users. This increases and improves signal quality.

What are major problems with massive MIMO's?

This technology seems easy to understand but is far more complicated when it is being worked upon. It is entirely based on the efficiency of the technology of the company. A company needs to have an advanced technology to increase its nodal capacities, they need to deploy hundreds and thousands of antennas into the system. The importance of sophisticated channel estimation while executing the technology has come as a major issue during the discussion of the matter. It would also be very unenviable to synchronize such huge amounts of terminals and also reduce high energy consumption to stay profitable.

Several telecom operators have put on many efforts to bring 5G in India. According to sources, Airtel recently announced its partnership with Korean telecommunications service providers  SK telecom to guide them in bringing the most advanced telecom network in India. They are collaborating jointly building and enabling an ecosystem for the introduction of evolved technology standards of 5G, Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV), Software-defined Networking (SDN) and the Internet of Things(IoT) in the Indian context.

Signal quality will also be improved by 2-3 dB. It will serve multiple users by re-using the same set of resource blocks (MU MIMO) with improved signal quality which will help in enhancing the user experience, cell capacity, and spectrum efficiency.

"Data speeds will now also be seamless, offering enhanced user experience even indoors, in crowded places and high rise buildings. It would enable multiple users and multiple devices to work simultaneously without facing any congestion or experience issues especially at hotspot locations," says Airtel.       

They promise to offer enhanced user experience even indoors, in crowded places and high rise buildings. Regarding the announcement, 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 the user experience for our customers, thereby translating into improved spectrum efficiency."

“We are in the process of bringing massive MIMO on 4G in India,” Himanshu Kapania, Managing Director, Idea Cellular, told ET. A similar insight was shared by Vishant Vora, Director, Technology, Vodafone India with ET: “We are bringing some of the 5G technologies like massive MIMO into 4G and applying them. We are conducting trials of this technology.”

Long time back, Reliance Jio announced that 5G network update would be easily provided for the existing 4G network connectivity in future. Samsung and  Jio had collaborated under the partnership, as Jio has only commercial vendor pan-India for the existing 4G networks. Earlier this year, President of Networks Business at Samsung Electronics, Youngky Kim had said: "We will strive to create new paradigms for LTE-Advanced Pro and 5G by closely cooperating with Jio as a unified workforce."


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