Digital traffic is something we have all experienced – sometimes videos skip, websites load slowly, or a message will just not upload instantly. With current wireless technology, all signals go through the same path, one by one. These paths are already much larger than they were a few years ago, but still, there is just one path. When there is a lot of demand from users, everything slows down. In the same way a light bulb radiates visible light, an antenna is a source and receiver of electromagnetic signals (EMS).
MIMO antennas (Multiple Input Multiple Output) provide several lanes for the signals. Similar to a car highway, MIMO antennas allow data packages to travel in parallel and therefore no single package has to wait. MIMO antennas establish these lanes for both the source (transmitter) and the destination (receiver), and then the digital data is sent as “zeros” and “ones” (on/off) in packages with EMS. 5G will use MIMO antennas, providing increased link capacity and spectral efficiency, combined with improved link reliability. 5G is also able to considerably increase the capacity of a particular channel.
In technical terms, MIMO is a combination of spatial multiplexing – two polarisations to distribute antenna signals. As spectral bandwidth is becoming an ever more valuable commodity for radio communication systems, techniques are needed to use the available bandwidth more effectively. The resulting benefits of 5G massive MIMO are greater bandwidth that can handle more potential users within the same physical area.