O2 and Nokia trialling massive MIMO at Kings Cross and Marble Arch
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:

O2 is working with Nokia on two massive MIMO trials in Kings Cross and Marble Arch, which are aimed at enhancing connectivity for O2 customers and paving the way for the future deployment of 5G across the capital.

O2 is working with Nokia on two massive MIMO trials in Kings Cross and Marble Arch, which are aimed at enhancing connectivity for O2 customers and paving the way for the future deployment of 5G across the capital.

The trials will use the additional 2.3GHz spectrum that O2 secured earlier this year in the spectrum auction. Massive MIMO technology employs far more antenna elements on a transceiver than the terminals/mobile devices it is serving. This increases the number of signal paths between the antenna array and each terminal, thereby improving the noise to signal ratio and consequently performance and the amount of data that can be transmitted over each active connection, while also allowing more users to be served simultaneously.

O2 claims that by trialling the technology in locations with high levels of data traffic, it will be able to boost coverage in these areas while also evaluating the technology for future deployment in urban areas, while also laying the foundation for the operator’s rollout of 5G. The operator will evaluate the trials with a view to potentially deploying the technology elsewhere in London and beyond to enhance connectivity as it continues to modernise its network in cities across the UK.

According to statistics from TfL, more than 95 million people travel through the Kings Cross St Pancras area every year and more than 14 million passed through the Marble Arch area last year.

Back in March, Ofcom confirmed that O2 had delivered against its commitment to provide 98 per cent indoor 4G coverage and 90 per cent geographical landmass mass coverage across the UK (in the same statement, the regulator confirmed that the latter was also true of the UK’s three other mobile network operators).

Brendan O’Reilly, CTO, Telefonica UK said: We recognise that customers’ need for mobile data in London and other urban areas continues to grow at a rapid pace. This is why we are working with Nokia to trial Massive MIMO and to explore the opportunities to provide the increased capacity and denser coverage for our customers, in the areas they need it most. Whether trialling 5G, or ensuring the remotest parts of rural Britain can connect to 4G, O2 is committed to building a truly mobile Britain.”

Paul Kander, manager of Telefonica UK account at Nokia said: Nokia is proud to work closely with Telefonica UK (O2) to help cater for their customers’ needs for greater capacity and densification in key areas. Nokia’s Massive MIMO technology in conjunction with Telefonica’s investment in new spectrum will considerably enhance and increase the capacity of Telefonica’s network and directly address customer demands, ensuring an ever-greater customer experience


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