As smartphones become more advanced with more demanded of them, it drives the need for faster internet access. One speed bottleneck for a smartphone is slow WIFI. A new technology to address this is “Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output” (MIMO) – which is the introduction of more than one antennae and more than one radio.
While many current notebook computers already implement MIMO, most smartphones and mobile devices haven’t yet caught up, although some Android devices that have recently been released, or are soon to reach market, do contain this technology. These devices incorporate extra, internal antennae and additional radio chips and so are MIMO capable. Essentially the more antennae a device has, the more “channels” the device can process, and the faster and more efficiently the device will process network data.
MIMO ready smartphone models include: Nexus 5 and later, Samsung Note 4, Samsung S series 4 and later including the recently released S7, One Plus model 2, and the Xiamoi Mi5. Testing run on MIMO equipped hardware show it has significantly better network speed. Apple’s iPhone series has yet to incorporate MIMO compatible hardware into their models.
If it works so well, why don’t companies just use more antennas & radios? Companies are increasing the number of both in their devices. Currently some devices are at MIMO 4X4 (four antennas, four radios). Unfortunately, these take up space, and size is still an important aspect of smartphone design.