NTT DOCOMO & MediaTek Demostrate World's First Compact 5G NOMA Chipset

NTT DOCOMO and MediaTek announced successful field tests of an important new feature for ultra-high speed and high-capacity 5G communication. They combined Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access (NOMA) - a technology proposed by DOCOMO - and Multi-User Interference Cancellation (MUIC) - a technology proposed by MediaTek, on a test chipset which provided a 2.3x spectral efficiency improvement when compared with single user MIMO using the same transmit/receiver antenna configuration. With the NOMA and MUIC technologies proposed by DOCOMO and MediaTek, this experiment verifies the spectral efficiency improvement has potential for 5G standardization.

Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access (NOMA) is a technology that enables the base station to simultaneously transmit signals to multiple devices in the area at the same time and using the same frequency by controlling the transmission power to each device and making the interference cancellation process of other interfering signals easier by each device.

Multi-User Interference Cancellation (MUIC) is a technology to remove unwanted signals at device side when a base station simultaneously transmits multiple signals to a number of devices in an area.

In this experiment, three test devices were situated at different locations, with super-positioned signals transmitted from a base station, at the same frequency, for different devices at the same time. The test results confirm the interfered signal can be successfully recovered thanks to the interference cancellation technology implemented in the test chipset. This provided up to 2.3x spectral efficiency improvement compared with existing technologies.

MediaTek will continue R&D on its 5G platforms with technologies such as NOMA/MUIC that provide a better user experience, particularly in dense urban environments. MediaTek and DOCOMO are committed to promote global standardization and the commercial deployment of 5G by 2020.

The base station was equipped with four 3.5 GHz antennas and communicated with three devices located at different distances from the base station, in a small cell environment. All three devices used in this experiment were equipped with the world's first NOMA/MUIC capable chipset, with dimensions equivalent to those of commercially available smart phones.