ZTE Completes Massive MIMO Tests for IMT-2020 5G

ZTE Corporation announced that they have completed verification and performance tests for the 5G high-frequency communication and Massive MIMO technologies in Shanghai and Shenzhen respectively. The tests were organized by the Chinese IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group, and fully implemented in both Line-Of-Sight (LOS) and Non-Line-Of-Sight (NLOS) scenarios. ZTE is now one of IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion’s first suppliers that has completed the high-frequency communication and uplink Massive MIMO tests.

To bring together the strengths of enterprises, universities and research institutes, push the research of China’s 5G mobile communication technologies, and carry out exchange and cooperation with international peers, the Chinese IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group formulated the general 5G technology R&D experiment plan. From 2016 to 2018, this plan will be implemented in three phases, which are the key 5G technology test phase, the technological 5G solution verification phase, and the overall 5G system verification phase.

The first phase started in September 2015 and will end in September 2016. This phase focuses on key technology verification and performance testing. ZTE, as a core member of this Promotion Group, has actively participated and cooperated with all activities of the group. Since the beginning of the 5G technology R&D experiment, they have fully participated in the discussion and formulation of the test specifications. They also launched the phase-I 5G test four months earlier, based on its own product R&D and test plan.

During the last two weeks of May 2016, they completed the verification and performance tests of the two most important 5G technologies, which are the high-frequency communication technology and the Massive MIMO single-site technology. All test results were exactly the same as expected. These tests were divided into two parts, the high-frequency communication technology part carried out in Shanghai, and the Massive-MIMO technology part carried out in Shenzhen.

For the first part, the single-user throughputs in different noise-signal ratios in an indoor LOS environment were first tested. The single-user throughputs in different noise-signal ratios met the expected theoretical results, and the Advanced Mezzanine Card (AMC) functions performed well. The single-user throughputs in different noise-signal ratios in an indoor NLOS environment were tested next. NLOS test scenarios include glass transmission, plasterboard transmission, iron plate transmission, glass reflection, and iron plate reflection, which were very close to the actual environment. As a result, the single-user throughputs in different noise-signal ratios met theoretical expectations, and the AMC functions performed well. What is more, ZTE also plans to carry out outdoor high-frequency communication product tests.

These test proved that, in Massive MIMO evolved NodeB (eNBs), cell throughputs can be increased exponentially and downlink gains can be up to three times greater than those in conventional macrocell base stations. Meanwhile, considering that the uplink Massive MIMO capacity may be restricted, they also carried out uplink Massive MIMO tests. The results showed that this technology could help exponentially increase cell throughput with the uplink gain reaching four times greater than before. So far, they are the only supplier that has performed uplink Massive MIMO tests.