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41 million mMIMO deployments expected by 2027

Massive Multiple-Input, Multiple Output (mMIMO) is the key technology of 5G, and network operators are actively deploying 5G to provide superior experience to both consumers and the enterprise. 5G revenue is dominated by massive MIMO and Asia Pacific generates 60% of the total revenue in the world market. According to global technology intelligence firm ABI Research, by 2027, there will be 41 million mMIMO deployments worldwide, reaching revenue of US$43 billion, representing 35% of the total revenue in outdoor infrastructure. Furthermore, deployment will be led by Asia Pacific due to the large adoption in countries like China, Japan, and South Korea.

“Network operators around the world are actively deploying mMIMO and there is regional difference in mMIMO deployments. 5G in China initially started with dense urban areas so they were mainly deploying mMIMO in 64T64R configuration. Since the 2021 move toward the suburbs, the 32T32R mMIMO configuration became preferred. The semiconductor shortage may be another contributing factor. Europe mainly deploys mMIMO in 32T32R configuration as they prioritize simple site migration and the high-power consumption associated with 64T64R,” explains Fei Liu, 5G & Mobile Network Infrastructure Industry Analyst at ABI Research. “Due to space and weight constraints, South Korea and Japan favor 32T32R mMIMO. The U.S. operators are aggressively deploying 64T64R mMIMO as 5G in the United States still focuses on dense urban areas. 64T64R is the primary use in the Middle East region and this configuration is expected to the adopted in Latin America as well.”

The fast-growing power consumption of 5G is burdening network operators with high energy costs and they are demanding equipment that is more energy efficient. “PAs (Power Amplifiers) represent up to 60% of the mMIMO power consumption with high traffic load,” Liu says. “Therefore, vendors switch from LDMOSs (Laterally Diffused Metal-oxide Semiconductors) to GaN (Gallium Nitride) for PAs to meet the requirement of high-output power and lower energy consumption for 5G massive MIMO. The evolution of the amplifiers could promise a 5% improvement in energy efficiency every year.”

CT Bureau

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