The Total Addressable Market (TAM) for Massive MIMO was valued at USD 6.09 billion in 2022. It is expected to reach USD 132.45 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 40.80% during the forecast period (2023–2031). Massive MIMO, or multiple inputs, multiple outputs, is a technique that essentially groups together the antennas at the transmitter and receiver to improve throughput and spectrum efficiency. For instance, Massive MIMO systems with up to 128 antennas have been demonstrated by Huawei, ZTE, and Facebook. They want to make it possible to send and receive multiple data signals simultaneously over the wide radio channel. Massive MIMO is compatible with LTE Advance, LTE Advance Pro, and 5G network technologies. The ability of massive MIMO to direct its antenna array's focused, narrow beams at the user results in higher spectral efficiency. It is possible to achieve spectral efficiency that is more than ten times better than the current MIMO system used for 4G/LTE.
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Implementing 5G Network Technology
To fully utilize 5G technology, several new technologies have emerged in recent years that must be incorporated into the existing network infrastructure. Massive MIMO is essential to developing 5G infrastructure because it enables uninterrupted high-speed data transfers that will boost the effectiveness of 5G networks. Additionally, the development of 5G chipsets, IoT, and other related technologies supports 5G, increasing the need for massive MIMO deployment. Further, increased M2M (machine-to-machine) connectivity penetration necessitates high bandwidth and extremely low latency, which is significant when deploying massive MIMO technology. As a result, the market for massive MIMO is expanding because 5G requires high bandwidth and low latency.
Technical Advantages of Massive MIMO
Massive MIMO, a key technology for 5G services, uses radios with large antenna arrays to improve the performance of mobile access networks. Increased use of antennas for signal transmission and reception helps operators meet growing capacity needs in the available spectrum because mobile signals can be concentrated into beams that directly target users rather than scattering widely. Every user now has access to more bandwidth thanks to this beamforming, which was made possible by massive MIMO technology. Massive MIMO supports 4G, 4G plus, and 5G services, which fuels demand in this 4G to 5G technology transition scenario. Therefore, the technical benefits mentioned above help the market for massive MIMO grow.
Shortage of TDD Spectrum on a Global Scale
The amount of traffic between the user terminal and the base station (uplink) and vice versa (downlink) is asymmetrical in the current network scenario. In contrast, FDD provides an identical channel size in each direction. However, downlinks are where massive MIMO is most frequently used.
On the other hand, TDD offers distinct time slots and periods for uplink and downlink communications within a frame that uses the same frequency for both duplex directions. Network performance can be adjusted by altering the slot time duration to meet demand. However, the widespread use of FDD spectrum by the current network limits market expansion because massive MIMO primarily supports TDD spectrum.
Development of Indoor Massive MIMO
China Unicom and Huawei jointly developed a 5G indoor distributed massive MIMO solution that offers 5G massive MIMO technology indoors to significantly boost capacity. In addition, according to the dominant market player Huawei, the country needs 5G networks to provide broader indoor coverage and stronger capabilities, which could speed up applications in vertical industries and support the exploration of new business models. Telemedicine, distance learning, and online offices are just a few of the industry verticals. Therefore, it is anticipated that the market demand will rise as indoor massive MIMO technology develops.
The global massive MIMO market is segmented by technology, spectrum, and antenna array type.
Based on the technology, the global market is bifurcated into LTE advance, LTE advance pro, and 5G.
The LTE advance pro segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 41.4% during the forecast period. The next-generation cellular standard, LTE advanced pro, uses 32-carrier aggregation to support data rates greater than 3 Gbit/s, which is the successor to LTE advanced. The idea of "license-assisted access," which permits sharing of licensed and unlicensed spectrum, was also introduced. The carriers will receive 640 MHz of bandwidth from LTE Advance Pro. In addition, incorporating more recent 5G technologies like 256-QAM, Massive MIMO, LTE-Unlicensed, and LTE IoT into LTE Advance Pro enables existing networks to evolve into supporting the 5G standard, which further fuels market expansion. Additionally, compared to LTE-A, data speeds are expected to be three times faster with LTE Advance, and other features like reduced latency are anticipated to boost market demand.
The Long-Term Evolution (LTE) standard has been significantly improved by LTE advanced, a mobile communication standard. Although under ideal circumstances, the LTE advance is compatible with LTE equipment and devices and 3.3 Gb/s peak download rates per sector of the base station. It runs at a scalable bandwidth of up to 100 MHz, above 20 MHz. Improvements in speed, bandwidth, and compatibility with existing LTE devices drive the advanced market. New flexible, reusable, and cost-effective advanced LTE devices and systems are replacing the pre-existing LTE devices and systems because they are more compatible with current data centers and other systems. The Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) reported that 304 LTE-Advanced networks had been launched commercially in 134 countries as of August 2019.
Based on the spectrum, the global market is bifurcated into TDD and FDD.
The TDD segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 41.2% during the forecast period. TDD systems transmit and receive data over the same frequency band. A system uses the same band to assign different time slots for transmit and receive operations. Any transmitted data may consist of a single byte or a frame with multiple bytes. Depending on network requirements, time slots could be dynamically assigned and have varying lengths. There must be a guard period to prevent UL and DL transmissions from interfering with one another. The network’s performance is decreased when UL/DL capacities are switched. Massive MIMOs are significantly more advantageous for installation and operation since they are much more compatible with the TDD spectrum.
Two distinct frequency bands or channels are required for FDD. A guard band must adequately separate the transmitting and receiving channels to prevent interference and ensure clear and uninterrupted transmission. The size of the guard band has no bearing on capacity. Based on system requirements, the frequency allocation for the UL/DL capacity is predetermined and equal in both directions. FDD ensures continuous transmission and high performance. Although FDD is an effective technology, operating with massive MIMOs is difficult due to its operating principle. Since almost all global network operators use the FDD spectrum, massive MIMO technology has advanced to operate with the FDD spectrum.
Based on the antenna array type, the global market is bifurcated into 16T16R, 32T32R, and 64T64R.
The 64T64R segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 42.4% during the forecast period. The massive MIMO 32T32R array antenna has 32 transceivers and 32 receivers. The antennas have the best coverage and are appropriate for dense urban areas with high capacity demand if the necessary infrastructure is available. The antennas provide the most bandwidth in the deployed region and have the maximum capacity potential. The most popular antennas and ones that account for a sizable portion of the massive MIMO market are those of the 64T64R array type. 64T64R array-type antennas are in high demand among network operators due to their most significant capacity potential and optimum coverage for crowded regions. For instance, Sprint, a network provider in the U.S., used the Airscale massive MIMO Adaptive Antenna, 64T64R, a Nokia solution with 3D-Beamforming for both the downlink and uplink on an active LTE frequency band to demonstrate massive MIMO for TD-LTE spectrum.
By region, the global massive MIMO market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market
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Asia-Pacific is the most significant shareholder in the global massive MIMO market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 42.9% during the forecast period. China, Japan, India, South Africa, and the rest of Asia-Pacific are all included in the analysis of the region. Growing smart technology adoption in Asia-Pacific opens lucrative opportunities for the region's 5G infrastructure expansion. The market for massive MIMO is driven by the Asia-Pacific region's population demand for better network technology with increased bandwidth and capacity. Additionally, developing and developed economies have quickly adopted 5G technology and developed 5G infrastructure in recent years. The infrastructure of the 5G network must include massive MIMO. This faster adoption of 5G technology is fueling the massive MIMO market expansion in the Asia-Pacific region. The demand for the deployment of massive MIMO technology has increased due to the growth of network operators in nations like China, Japan, India, and South Korea. Major players in the sector have also worked together to meet the demand for 5G adoption that is occurring quickly.
North America is expected to grow at a CAGR of 40.12% during the forecast period. The US, Canada, and Mexico are included in the analysis of North America, and the region is among the most developed compared to the rest of the world. The developed nations are the United States and Canada, while Mexico is a developing country. Massive MIMO is in high demand in the region due to the adoption of 5G network technologies, the population's uptake of IoT devices that support 5G, and the region's record-breaking adoption rate of 5G network technologies. Additionally, the U.S. has one of the most advanced economies and has the highest rate of massive MIMO deployment in the current environment. The region's top users have created a demand for faster connectivity, necessitating the deployment of massive MIMOs by network operators. For instance, Nokia and Sprint have jointly shown the benefits of massive MIMO, with Sprint becoming the first U.S. operator to showcase massive MIMO for TDD-LTE spectrum with 64T64R for both the downlink and uplink on an active LTE frequency.
Europe is expected to grow significantly over the forecast period. The UK, Germany, France, Italy, and the rest of Europe are all included in the European market analysis. Due to the rising demand for connected smart devices and autonomous vehicles in the region, Europe is predicted to experience rapid growth for its 5G infrastructure during the forecast period. The region's accessibility to smart infrastructure and cities fuels the massive MIMO market's expansion. Additionally, massive MIMO usage is increasing in Europe due to technological advancements across various business sectors and rising purchasing power among locals for IoT devices with 5G operational capabilities. Massive MIMO deployments are becoming more necessary due to the rapid growth in the sales of luxury vehicles and connected devices in Europe.
Latin America and the Middle East and Africa are all included in the analysis of the LAMEA market. In LAMEA, adopting cutting-edge systems and solutions is comparatively slow across various industry verticals. IoT expansion, rising consumer and automotive electronics technology demand, increased adoption of smart wearable technology, and other factors contribute to developing the LAMEA 5G infrastructure. Since massive MIMO is a critical component of the 5G network, the LAMEA market will benefit greatly from these opportunities.
The global massive MIMO market’s major key players are Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Ericsson, Nokia Corporation, ZTE Corporation, Verizon Communications Inc., China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd, China Mobile Ltd., CommScope, Inc, and Deutsche Telekom AG.