Understanding the Basics of MIMO Communication Technology

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  • Author: Adam Krumbein

Radio systems utilizing MIMO (multiple-in, multiple-out) technology have become increasingly common over the past several decades, with notable examples being Wi-Fi networks and cellular 3G / 4G LTE & massive MIMO system that make up a large part of our modern communication infrastructure.

More recently, MIMO has been finding its way into rapidly growing markets such as professional broadcast video, law enforcement, and government sectors thanks to newer generations of smaller, better performing radio solutions and antenna designs that support MIMO technology. With the bandwidth requirements that today’s video, audio, and data systems demand, MIMO is often an ideal solution for communication especially urban environments where clear line-of-site is harder to achieve and the abundance RF / microwave systems that can pose interference issues.

There are many types of MIMO systems currently in use, with different MIMO radio manufacturers offering their own versions of the technology with unique features and advantages. The new generation of small, high-performance tactical MIMO radios allows for the benefits of MIMO to be utilize by smaller groups as well as large organizations. Ad-hoc and mesh networking capabilities of many radio systems allows for dynamic deployment and quick response to changing situations without network outages.

This white paper will touch upon topics related to the basics of understanding MIMO communication that can be understood by readers of all levels of technical levels, particularly those that are new to the RF market or have no previous working experience with MIMO technology.