Future wireless networks will have no capacity limits


In what may turn out to be a precursor to the demise of wired connections, a scientist claims that ultimately, wireless networks won’t have a capacity ceiling.

Researchers have generally thought there was a maximum to the amount of data that could be sent within certain bandwidths, spaces and over a period, even using the best antennas. However, massive multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) antennas will provide for unlimited and thus vast streams of data to be communicated over the airwaves, says Emil Björnson and his fellow researchers at Swedish Linköping University. He says his group has discovered that capacity limit calculations used for the new antennas, expected to be used widely in 5G, are wrong.

What are massive MIMO antennas?

Massive MIMO antennas are basically bigger antenna arrays than are usually used. Instead of just placing a couple of antennas at each end of a link, a system called MIMO, as we see on Wi-Fi routers, for example, you simply scale significantly more antennas. It becomes an appropriately named massive MIMO.

The technology works by more efficiently processing and then sending data, along many signal paths, within the allocated bandwidth.

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