Bristol university uses MIMO to set world record

30 March 2016


Researchers from the university of Bristol and the university of Lund have collaboratively set a new world record in 5G spectrum efficiency.

They achieved this using a MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) system. This in itself is nothing new. It involves combining multiple antennas (usually between two and four) to achieve greater speeds and efficiency.

However, Bristol and Lund used a Massive MIMO system with 128 antennas deployed at a base station in the Bristol is Open test bed.

Bristol’s Massive MIMO system operates at a carrier frequency of 3.5GHz and supports simultaneous wireless connectivity to up to 12 single antenna clients, with each client sharing a common 20MHz radio channel. The individual data streams are then unravelled using complex digital signal processing algorithms.

The trial, which was conducted in the atrium of Bristol’s Merchant Venturers building, achieved a record breaking bandwidth efficiency of 79.4bit/s/Hz, which equates to a sum rate throughput of 1.59Gbit/s in a 20MHz channel. You can see the system up close in the video below.

Professor Andrew Nix, Head of the CSN Group and Dean of Engineering, said: “This activity reinforces our well established propagation and system modelling work by offering a new capability in model validation for Massive MIMO architectures.

“This is a truly exciting time for our PhD students and opens up further opportunities for collaborative research with our national and international partners.”

Ove Edfors, Professor of Radio Systems at Lund University said: “We see massive MIMO as the most promising 5G technology and we have pushed it forward together with partners in Bristol and in our EU project MAMMOET. It is a pleasure seeing those efforts materialize.”

Bristol University is at the forefront of 5G research in the UK, with this latest achievement following the development of a closed 5G network in the city and collaborations with Keysight Technologies to try and understand the nuances of millimetre wave frequencies.

Editor at

Kevin Thomas has worked in the world of Telecom reporting for over 17 years. He reviewed the first 3G phone way back in 2003, reviewed the first 4G phone in 2012 and now he's keen to welcome in the first 5G phone too. Kevin previously worked for over 15 years within the Telecom industry including: AT&T in Europe, BT in the UK and Phillips in the Netherlands. He holds a HND in Telecommunications.

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