Vodafone UK, Huawei trial to improve 4G coverage

Vodafone 4G coverage
Vodafone UK is conducting trials of 4.5G (TDD+) with LTE TDD to increase the efficiency of its 4G network in urban areas.

The investment in 4.5G network will pave the way for introducing 5G by 2020, said Huawei in a statement issued on Wednesday.

Vodafone UK is testing new 4×4 MIMO techniques eight-way transmit and receive (8T8R), together with multi-user beam-forming in Manchester. The investment can support the rapid growth in video and virtual reality applications on the latest smartphones.

Huawei said beam forming and four-way receiver diversity improve performance in heavily built up areas, by combining the signals from multiple angles and co-located antennas in order to reduce interference and improve throughput.

The 4.5G trial involves 4×4 versions of MIMO to deliver data services with improved accuracy. The 8T8R beamforming concentrates the user-specific energy and multiplexes the resource between different users, increasing the average as well as the edge performance.

Vodafone UK aims to focus customers’ mobile signals in specific directions to ensure better user experience and minimize interference during peak times in populated areas. Since more signal can reach more subscribers particularly at the edge of the base station coverage, mobile customers can benefit from higher average speeds across the network.

Vodafone CTO Jorge Fernandes said: “We are working hard with radio network equipment partners to ensure our network is future-proofed for the expected arrival of 5G in four to five years’ time, whilst continually improving our 4G performance for customers throughout the UK.”