Den Haag,

T-Mobile Netherlands activates first antenna with 5G technology in Amsterdam

New 5G network technology with Massive MIMO antenna achieves network capacity improvement of up to 600%, divided over large amounts of users, from one antenna, on one frequency band

The Hague - Today T-Mobile Netherlands is the first provider in the Netherlands to activate a Massive MIMO antenna for its customers. By doing so it is taking a new big step towards a 5G network. The antenna has been installed at the Leidseplein in Amsterdam to provide large numbers of people in and around the square with a fast and stable Internet connection. Massive MIMO antennas are an important building block for T-Mobile's future 5G network. During the trial run a capacity increase of up to 600 percent was observed.

Boost of the network
Massive MIMO antennas were developed to give existing mobile networks a boost at locations where there is great demand for mobile data, such as busy squares, stadiums or shopping centers. It is not all about achieving individual top speeds, but about providing a maximum number of users with a fast data connection and stable coverage. Therefore, at the Leidseplan a great amount of users can use Skype, Netflix and stream as much as they like. Although the focus right now is on smartphone use, it will also cover, to an ever increasing degree, the data used by smart devices and vehicles.

The innovative antenna offers effective data throughput because it uses small, bundled 3D beamformingpaterns. By way of an example, you could say that the antenna bundles these datastreams into a kind of 'tracking searchlight' with which the data traffic of large numbers of users is handled more effectively. This contrastswith the technology used by existing mobile networks which transmit their signal across the people a bit like a 'construction lamp'.


T-Mobile and Huawei are working on 5G together
T-Mobile is working closely with Huawei to optimize its mobile network, including the activation of this first Massive MIMO antenna in the Netherlands. This antenna is completely integrated with the existing 4.5G LTE Advanced Pro network. This fall, T-Mobile and Huawei are collectively launching a series of different technologies, including the Massive MIMO technology to optimize the network performance and customer usage. T-Mobile Netherlands is ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to network quality.

Richard Marijs, Technology Strategist at T-Mobile Netherlands: "Demand for data is growing all the time and sudden huge increases in data demand are already occurring in busy locations.The current T-Mobile UNLIMITED network is equipped to easily support this demand. In other places we deliver coverage with at least three of four 4.5G frequency bands and the assessoryantenna’s.

At the same time we are exploring and learning how we will be able to process the extremely rapidly increasing demand for data efficiently in the future. At the moment the focus is just on mobile Internet for consumers and business users and the T-Mobile network has more than enough capacity to satisfy this demand. However, in the near future 5G services are going to be added, combined with data traffic from self-driving cars, for instance, connected cameras used by law enforcement officers, smart city applications such as smart street lighting, and other Internet-of-Things applications. We are in the process of getting our network ready to for the optimal processing of all that data in order to keep busy cities livable for all their residents."

The technology behind the antenna with a 600% move network capacity
The compact Massive MIMO antenna is fitted with 64 small receivers and 64 transmission antennas to send and receive various data streams with a single spectrum block of 20MHz (within the 2600MHz band) based on TDD-LTE technology. A single antenna appears to be able to provide a network capacity of 600Mbps (not optimized with 256QAM modulation technology), where a normal antenna would provide 100Mbps which is divided over multiple users by means of 3D Beamforming technology. The antenna was activated early September and used for testing in which 16 users each achieved a simultaneous download speed of more than 35Mbps per handset on this single antenna. All other users in and around the square made use of the existing network or of this Massive MIMO antenna.

Smartphones used
As from today the Massive MIMO antenna is going to serve all of the most commonly used smartphones by Apple, Huawei and Samsung that connect to the T-Mobile network at the Leidseplein in Amsterdam. The tests referred to earlier were conducted with Huawei P9 handsets.