What is Mimo?

Mimo is an aerial technology and stands for multi input multi output. The way the mobile industry supports increased speed between 4G, 4G+, 4G++ & 5G is to broadcast the same signal over several radio channels. The mobile networks are splitting up the available spectrum into separate channels & broadcasting your data over several channels at the same time.

The reason that is faster is that it avoids blockages – individual radio channels have capacity limits. In terms of a pipe if the data goes over 1 channel it’s a narrow pipe. If you send the data over several channels by splitting it there is more capacity to carry the data which translates to faster speeds.

In order for this to work, the transmitter & receiver needs to understand the data has been split, there need to be multiple aerials. Different channels at the tower = more aerials at the receiver. This is Mimo! Multiple input multiple output.

On a 3G router there is only 1 connector to which you would connect a single aerial. 4G+ is 2 aerials per cellular modem. Now with 5G you typically have 4 aerials per cellular modem! This is invonvenient because asd an example with the our i-MO 225 5G router you would need 8 aerials! You can reduce this back to 4 by using Mimo aerials which have 2 or more aerial elements encapsulated in a single plastic sleeve. To the outside world you have 4 individual aerials but you actually have 8 aerial elements! Which translates to faster speeds and greater bandwidth for data to be transferred.

Some of the very fast demonstrations of 5G you might have 16 or 32 aerials! Practical considerations   limit the actual number eg sometimes aerials interfere with each other but you get the drift!

What is a Mimo aerial?

Standard tech for 4G and 5G – your phone has tiny Mimo aerials!

High performance Mimo type 5G aerial designs are supported (SMA type “main” and “diversity” connector for each modem / antenna).

With Mimo aerials you have one cable marked Main and one marked Diversity. Main is the most important, prime antenna. The Diversity antenna adds performance. Normally if you were to break one of the aerials and find out what was going on inside it, the Main antenna is vertical and Diversity is horizontal in the case. This is because the radio broadcaster eg the mobile network gets the best system capacity by polarizing ie by broadcasting some data from the vertical and some from horizontal antennas on the tower. At the receiving end, you want to mirror that polarization choice the mobile network has made.

Who uses a Mimo aerial?

Phones & Routers. Any device which is compatible with fast 4G or 5G should use Mimo aerials because that is an important part of what makes them faster.

What’s an alternative?

You could just go with a standard single rod antenna but if you only connect 1 rod you won’t get the speeds or the bandwidth or benefit from the fact that the mobile mast is broadcasting the signal  across several channels.

How does Mimo aerial change the outcome?

Faster services as long as you have a router or phone that supports fast 4G or 5G. The original EMS iMO OptiBond 210 uses 1 aerial per modem. The newer EMS iMO OptiBond 210 using Mimo with two aerials per modem typically gives double the speed of the single aerial version! Using a single aerial still works but the speed is compromised without Mimo.

What is Mimo aerial famous for?

Improved performance! It’s all about maximizing the performance of the service to which you have access.

More on Mimo


Featured image (c) Claudeb 2015 via Wikimedia Commons