Published in Mobiles

Samsung prepares for LTE MIMO 4X4 infrastructure

by on25 August 2016

Shipping in Q4, Note 7 supports it

Qualcomm has been very vocal about 4x4 LTE MIMO and its support for this standard. Samsung is preparing to start shipping its LTE infrastructure in Q4 16 and we also learned that the Galaxy Note 7 also supports 4x4 LTE MIMO.

The Snapdragon 820 4x4 LTE MIMO Multiple Input and Multiple Output will enable speeds up to 600 Mbps with 4x4 LTE Mimo and 256QAM.

Samsung has confirmed its plans to finish the base station software by Q4 2016. It turns out that the latest Galaxy Note 7 already supports 4x4 LTE MIMO - at least the one shipping in USA and a few other markets. Europe and India are getting the Exynos 8890 Octa core and Samsung’s Exynos 8890 modem supports up to 2x2 MIMO so that's much lower maximum speeds compared to the Qualcomm version.        

Etnews from Korea claims that an even faster LTE 4x4 MIMO is just around the corner. It claims the maximum speeds of 1000 Mbps or 1GB file will take eight seconds to download.

Samsung Electronics is going to provide base station software that supports both 4x4 MIMO and 3-Band CA (Carrier Aggregation) to mobile telecoms in the fourth quarter. This is when some testing is going to start and it is expected that we might see 4x4 MIMO and 3-Band CA in 2017, possibly even in the USA and some parts of Europe.

The 1Gbps LTE will come in 2017 and Qualcomm has already demonstrated the technology at the Mobile World Congress in February 2016. Snapdragon X16 is an already announced product and it will reach 1Gbps speeds.


Qualcomm uses 10 streams each at 20MHz  to connect to an LTE antenna and can achieve close to 1000 Mbps. We saw a demo at the Mobile World Congress peaking at 979 Mbps. A similar demo of 4x4 MIMO LTE with Sony prototype phone caused a lot of attention as this is the first phone with four antennas so far. This demo phone reached close to 400 Mbps speeds.

It will be interesting to take a look at the USA Snapdragon 820 powered Galaxy Note 7 as it seems that this phone does have LTE 4x4 MIMO support. So 2017 looks like a year of 1Gbps devices and network and we believe that SKTelecom might be one of the first.

Australia’s Telstra is currently leading with its Cat 11 capable network that will reach 600 Mbps and these guys launched almost a year ago. It seems that ntel in Nigeria is testing 4x4 MIMO carrier aggregation that might result in speeds of up to 450 Gbps.  

SK Telecom in Korea and StarHub in Singapore are currently testing the 4x4 LTE MIMO + 256 QAM while Telenor in Pakistan, KDDI in Japan, XL Axiata in Indonesia and TrueMove-H in Thailand are already using the 4x4 MIMO.

There is a lot of interest in Europe about the 4x4 MIMO and faster than 300 Mbps where at least a few countries today have 450 Mbps capable networks. There are some indications  that we might see  big speed updates including 4x4 MIMO in the USA network carriers too, happening next year.

Last modified on 25 August 2016
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