Understanding MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) – LTE Speed & Cell Booster Implications

An early MIMO prototype...

An early MIMO antenna prototype?

To anyone who knows a thing or two about wireless communications, modern LTE cellular radios are borderline miraculous.

Consider the first iPhone - which launched in 2007 with a maximum theoretical cellular speed of around 500kbps using AT&T's 2G EDGE cellular network.

Less than a decade later - the latest flagship phones like the iPhone 6s or hotspots like the Netgear AC791L actually support theoretical maximum cellular download speeds of 300Mbps.

That is a 600x increase - in just 8 years!

That sort of raw speed is fast enough to transfer an entire DVD in around 2 minutes - an amount of data that would have taken over 8 days to transfer over an old-school 56kbps telephone modem, or the earliest 2G cellular data networks.

Get the Book

Of course theory rarely equals reality - and the cellular networks need to be substantially upgraded and built out to even come close to being able to deliver speeds like this to real people outside of a lab. And in the real world - you will be sharing this speed with perhaps hundreds of others connected to the same cell tower.

But real LTE speeds over 50Mbps are actually not at all uncommon nowadays, and speeds over 100Mbps are starting to be found in the field by a lucky few.

One of the key technologies making these sorts of speeds possible is known as MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) - an incredibly clever technique for putting multiple antennas to work to increase both data transmission speed and reliability.

MIMO is fundamental to LTE - but cellular boosters and MIMO have some... challenges... working together.

Read on to get a grasp of what MIMO is, how it works, and how you can use a little bit of MIMO awareness to potentially double your cellular speeds.

Topics Covered:


This Guide Contains
Member Only Content

We are honored to be funded by our community - allowing us to provide free basic content on this resource center.

We do not resell products, gear or plans and do not accept sponsorships or 3rd party advertising - our goal is to be an unbiased informational and educational resource.

Join the MIA

In thanks for their support, our premium members get access to the more in-depth portions of this guide- and first access to new content created.

 

If you're a member, please log in for full access to this guide - or if you're not yet:

Become a Mobile Internet Aficionados Member

Other benefits of a premium membership include:

  • Product Reviews
  • Mobile Internet University (our classroom) & Book
  • Special MIA Newsletters & Alerts
  • Discounts (which can save you more than the cost of membership!)
  • Private Q&A forums & Interactive webinars
  • A community of fellow nomads relying on mobile internet

Members, Please Log In to Comment on this Article.


RVMobileInternet.com is a Member Supported Resource

Appreciate content like this article? It is brought to you by the generosity of our premium members - who fund the creation of our content. There is no way we could not put this much time & attention on this topic without their support, and we are so grateful.

You can help keep the articles & resources coming!

Ways to Support the Mobile Internet Resource Center