Advantages of MU-MIMO | Disadvantages of MU-MIMO

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of MU-MIMO and its basics. It mentions benefits or advantages of MU-MIMO and drawbacks or disadvantages of MU-MIMO.

What is MU-MIMO?

It has been introduced in WLAN 802.11ac WiFi standard. It uses different spatial streams for different users to make use of MIMO for multiple users. It is also used in latest wifi 6 standard as per IEEE 802.11ax standard. Smart TVs, consoles, PCs, smartphones and tablets are all available at the front of router to experience three times fast internet rather than sequentially.

MU-MIMO 802.11ax
Image Courtesy: Aerohive Networks

In WiFi 6, it is used along with MU-OFDMA to make system spectral efficient and to support more number of users. The figure depicts MU-MIMO concept. MU-MIMO uses beamforming to connect appropriately with desited wifi clients. IEEE 802.11ac uses 2x2 MU-MIMO where as 802.11ax uses 8x8 MU-MIMO configurations.

Benefits or advantages of MU-MIMO

Following are the benefits or advantages of MU-MIMO:
➨It increases overall capacity of WiFi router by using multiple streams simultaneously.
➨More than one user can make use of MIMO simultaneously. Hence wifi is available to multiple devices at once and at the same speed.
➨It offers immediate coverage improvement for existing 802.11ac and other wifi legacy client devices.
➨MU-MIMO helps in achieving higher data rates per user.
➨It is best suited for large size WiFi packets.
➨It is ideal for low client devices and higher bandwidth applications.
➨It improves latency and power consumption requirements of clients in increasingly crowded home networks.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of MU-MIMO

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of MU-MIMO:
➨It requires highly precise beamforming.
➨There is interference between terminals which must be handled by complex algorithms at the receiver to recover data bits.
➨It requires prior resource allocation to the terminals.
➨The MU-MIMO system is complex in terms of hardware in comparison to SU-MIMO due to use of multiple antennas.
➨It is expensive due to use of advanced DSP in MU-MIMO system.

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What is Difference between

difference between OFDM and OFDMA
Difference between SC-FDMA and OFDM
Difference between SISO and MIMO
Difference between TDD and FDD

RF and Wireless Terminologies