India’s first MIMO laboratory was set up at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi and began commencing its operations on April 13th.
Let’s take a look at what a MIMO laboratory is. And why it is useful for India to have one.
MIMO stands for Multiple Input and Multiple Output. MIMO uses multiple antennas to increase the capacity of radio signals. This technology also makes use of the phenomenon called multipath propagation.
Multipath propagation was incidentally an error during the GSM era in the 2000s. Multipath error occurs when the input signal bounces off different surfaces, and the receiver receives this interference signal, causing an error.
But playing this to our advantage, the technique is perfected for sending and receiving more than one data signal simultaneously over the same radio channel using multiple antennas, hence exploiting the multipath propagation with the use of antennas.
So, the MIMO technology has been employed since 2009 in wifi and saw its first usage for mass telecommunications in 4G technology.
FUN FACT: Arogyaswami Paulraj and Thomas Kailath were the first to propose the technology behind MIMO. For this, Paulraj was awarded the prestigious Marconi Prize in 2014 for his “pioneering contributions to developing the theory and applications of MIMO antennas”.
Since then, MIMO has been a cornerstone of study for advanced telecommunications and a better understanding of signals. Massive MIMO technology will also form the base for the 5G network. 4G networks currently use 2.3 Gigahertz (GHz) frequencies to transfer information while 5G will be upwards of 3.5 GHz.
“This 5G base station prototype will be used to test and verify algorithms and also for developing a complete 5G base station. This can lead to the manufacture of 5G base stations in India with support/collaboration from industry,” said Saif Khan Mohammed, an IIT-D professor working on MIMO technology to the Economic Times.
These labs are crucial if we need to get ahead on the modern telecommunications front as it is the future of wireless communications.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)