NEC announced its partnership with Analog Devices (ADI) to design a 5G Network Massive MIMO Antenna Radio Unit for Rakuten Mobile.

The radio unit adopts ADI’s wideband RF transceiver solution to achieve high precision Massive MIMO and possesses a 5G open vRAN (virtual RAN) interface corresponding to Rakuten Mobile’s fully virtualized cloud-native mobile network.

NEC said the radio unit delivers large capacity transmission with high efficiency by using 3.7GHz frequency Massive MIMO and digital beamforming technology. The virtual network brings a major shift in how communications providers can offer internet access, at lower costs, made possible without the maintenance, upkeep, repair and labor costs associated with the physical infrastructure.

NEC has already started shipping the 5G Network Massive MIMO Antenna Radio Unit to Rakuten Mobile.

ADI’s wideband RF transceiver integrates quad channel transmitters, receivers and Digital Pre-Distortion (DPD) in a single chip. The radio is fully software reconfigurable and covers
all sub-6GHz 5G frequency bands, simplifying radio designs.

“ADI’s RF transceiver is designed to support wireless applications such as Massive MIMO and small cell systems, simplifying system design, reducing size and weight, and minimizing power consumption,” said Nozomu Watanabe, senior vice president at NEC.

NEC said its 5G equipment utilizes digital beamforming for efficient high-capacity transmission. The system also features seamless installation, achieved through circuit integration.

Greg Henderson, senior vice president at Analog Devices, said: “By working with NEC to drive the first Massive MIMO installation for Rakuten Mobile, we’re laying the groundwork to propel 5G connectivity forward.”

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