Simulating beamforming to aid 5G deployment

WHITEPAPER | Simulation of Beamforming by Massive MIMO Antennas.

One of the predicted key enabling technologies for 5G, Massive MIMO, presents a challenge for network and equipment developers: understanding the propagation paths, and therefore the performance, of Massive MIMO in urban environments is not easy.

To that end, 5G-related bodies such as METIS have commissioned studies into 5G channel modelling, including for Massive MIMO. But there is a problem- the tools used to simulate channel characteristics do not adapt well to the large amount of multipath that Massive MIMO entails.

This white paper from Remcom finds that “traditional tools and methods for channel modelling are simply unable to predict many of the key channel characteristics for MIMO antennas. “

That’s because traditional ray-tracing requires a simulation for each transmitting antenna in the array, which becomes too computationally intensive in the case of massive MIMO.

Instead, what is required is a new way of simulating multi-array beamforming in a dense urban environment.

The paper sets out the fundamental principles of a new capability for simulating massive MIMO antennas and beamforming in dense urban environments.

It presents an optimised simulation approach for efficiently simulating the detailed multipath for large numbers of MIMO channels using ray-tracing, while overcoming the limitations and computational burden of traditional ray-tracing methods.

The whitepaper combines technical analysis of interference and channel modelling in Massive MIMO, and includes results of simulations of Massive MIMO in an urban scene. Results of the simulations using the technology demonstrate that it can be practically applied to perform research and assess performance of massive MIMO systems in future 5G mobile networks.

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