In what it is terming “Pre5G,” ZTE says that it has made a significant breakthrough with a new Multi-User Shared Access (MUSA) technology, giving the capability to triple the overload capacity of wireless networks.
The research is still underway, but the MUSA algorithm provided a 200% improvement in the overload, which is a crucial in handling the explosion of the “Internet of Things” era.
ZTE calls this Pre5G because it uses existing 4G/LTE equipment, but provides much lower latency, and higher throughput. Also, 5G as a standard has not been defined yet. Moreover, ZTE says the user experience can benefit from MUSA much sooner than any expected commercial rollout of 5G, which is at best, five years away.
“The Pre5G solution will help operators exponentially enhance the access rate and overall network capacity by leveraging existing resources in the next 3-to-5 years. Before standardization of 5G technologies, this solution can effectively mitigate the challenges of data traffic surge, and help operators seize market opportunities and achieve better business development,” according to ZTE chief scientist Xiang Jiying.
While we know ZTE in the US primarily for its smartphones, the company is also one of the largest telecom switchgear manufacturers in the world, competing with Nokia, Ericsson, and Huawei. All of these companies are jockeying to play a leading role in the development and definition of the 5th generation of wireless technology.