Optus and Huawei attain 665Mbps speeds across 16 devices with Massive MIMO

Huawei and Optus have announced attaining throughput aggregate speeds of 665Mbps across 16 devices during a trial of Massive MIMO antenna technology.

Optus and Huawei have announced attaining an aggregated cell throughput speed of 665Mbps shared across 16 devices using Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology.

The trial, announced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona on Wednesday, was conducted on Sunday across a single frequency channel of 20MHz on the 2300MHz band using beam-forming technology.

"Massive MIMO is an important technology enabler and lays the foundation for the upcoming 5G," Optus Networks managing director Dennis Wong said.

"Massive MIMO is an important step along the journey to 5G, as it allows us to immediately increase cell site capacity and spectrum efficiency. For customers, this means that their experience will be of consistently high standard even in high-usage situations."

Sharing the speeds across 16 devices was a trial of how users will consume multimedia content simultaneously across Optus' network, with the telecommunications operator clocking a 75 percent increase year on year in data consumption.

Huawei's Massive MIMO active antenna unit (AAU) solution -- which won the best mobile infrastructure award at MWC -- was used for the trial, which has 16 beam-forming streams in a 128T128R configuration.

Through this solution, which has been deployed in over 60 countries across the globe over 120 networks, Huawei said it integrates radio functions from distributed base stations to antenna devices in an upward movement, and can support up to seven bands.

"Huawei's AAU solution is the result of constant innovation against operators' network requirements in diverse application scenarios. This solution will continue to be improved for a smooth network evolution," Huawei Wireless Network CMO Zhou Yuefeng said.

"With the rapid development of mobile broadband, new services such as VR, HD video, and wireless home broadband pose an increasingly high requirement for network capacity. At the same time, operators need to continuously reduce the total cost of ownership.

"Huawei's AAU series products can help operators address network deployment challenges and provide better service experiences."

Huawei has also used its Massive MIMO AAU technology during field testing with China Unicom, pre-commercial deployment with China Mobile, and commercial deployment with Japan's SoftBank.

Optus' announcement follows news last week that it switched on its 4.5G network in partnership with Huawei, with its 1.03Gbps-capable network now available in Macquarie Park, Sydney.

Using a combination of 4x4 MIMO, 4CC/5CC carrier aggregation, and 256 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM), the 4.5G network will be rolled out across Australia's capital cities during 2017, and will reach 70 percent of Optus' network in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, and Perth.

Optus said it will continue testing and moving from 4G towards a "4.5G" mobile network before the arrival of 5G in 2020.

"We continue to utilise our network and spectrum assets to test our network of the future and prepare for 5G," Wong said.

"By 2020, 5G will be here, and we are committed to identify ways to prepare our network to support this new technology and further improve customer experience."

Huawei and Optus have also been trialling 5G network technology, in November attaining speeds of 35Gbps, which they said is the fastest single user transmission rate using 5G so far in Australia.

The trial was conducted over the 73GHz millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum band, using the Polar Code coding mechanism.

ZDNet understands that Optus is looking into trialling its 5G network at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast.

Disclosure: Corinne Reichert travelled to MWC in Barcelona as a guest of Huawei