Sprint and Samsung recently tested the Massive MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) technology on the 2.5GHz spectrum in South Korea. This was a real-world application of a technology that will enable Sprint to “dramatically boost” LTE Plus wireless capacity and cover. The technology will also enable Sprint to offer Gigabit LTE to its customers in the United States.

The field testing in Suwon, South Korea involved Massive MIMO Samsung radios that were equipped with vertical and horizontal bean-forming technology. Sprint was able to reach peak speeds of 330 Mbps per channel using a 20MHz channel of 2.5GHz spectrum.

The setup increased capacity per channel by four times while increasing cell edge performance three times. The overall coverage area also improved compared to existing radios.

Sprint has already deployed 8T8R (8 transmit, 8 receive) radios across its network in the United States. It conducted this test with Samsung to compare the performance of Massive MIMO radios with 8T8R radios. Both companies wrote the test cases and requirements that involved multi-user and non-stationary testing.

The entire Massive MIMO network infrastructure was provided by Samsung as well as the test network design, operation, data collection and processing. Sprint and Samsung are going to use the results from this test to prepare for commercial deployment of Massive MIMO in the United States and other countries.