China Mobile Research Institute and SkyCross announced a demonstration of a tunable, MIMO antenna design for multimode, multiband handsets in LTE deployments around the globe. The world’s first compact, tunable MIMO antenna covers 12 frequency bands ranging from 700 MHz to 2.7 GHz for TD LTE/LTE FDD/TD SCDMA/GSM EDGE/WCDMA deployments worldwide.

China Mobile believes that the convergence of TDD and FDD and the support of multiband are important for the mobile industry to realize the global scale and global roaming capabilities of the LTE standard. Cooperating with industry partners, China Mobile has made great strides in the convergence of TD-LTE and LTE FDD. The vision of "one standard, one network platform, and single-chipset solutions” has built a solid foundation for the development of a global LTE terminal.

In September 2010, China Mobile Research Institute and SkyCross signed a joint memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly pursue compact MIMO antenna design and implementation for multimode, multiband LTE handsets. China Mobile provided detailed requirements for global frequency band combinations needed including TD LTE/LTE FDD/TD SCDMA/GSM EDGE/WCDMA for potential global LTE and legacy network co-deployment, as well as target global roaming bands. China Mobile also provided detailed antenna performance requirements meeting 3GPP specifications. SkyCross conducted all the antenna design and implementation using a software-configurable approach to tune the antenna frequency band coverage from 700 MHz to 2.7 GHz. The final tunable, multimode, multiband, MIMO antenna design was tested at the China Mobile Research Institute and TMC laboratories in Beijing and satisfies China Mobile’s performance requirements.

Compact, multiband MIMO antennas are a key element in executing multimode, multiband handset designs for global LTE deployments since LTE band definitions cover nearly all the possible unpaired TDD and paired FDD frequencies that all mobile operators use around the world. With multiband MIMO antennas now in place, the mobile handset ecosystem can now move forward in developing the remaining multiband components including power amplifiers, filters and duplexers, switches, RFICs and front-end-modules.

“Our joint development effort with SkyCross has demonstrated that cost-effective, multimode, multiband antennas are technically achievable for global LTE handsets,” said Bill Huang, General Manager of China Mobile Research Institute. “We believe this demonstration will accelerate the development of universal handsets capable of roaming worldwide, as well as create the manufacturing volume to meet all operators’ requirements.”

“SkyCross is honored to collaborate with China Mobile on an initiative that is so important to the future of the wireless industry,” said Ben Naskar, SkyCross CEO and Chairman. “Multiband, state-tunable ST-iMAT™ MIMO antennas enable 4G wireless devices to support worldwide roaming without sacrificing performance or increasing antenna size.”

China Mobile is the largest mobile operator by number of subscribers in the world. SkyCross, Inc. is a global developer and manufacturer of advanced antenna and RF solutions that are powering the emergence of 4G networks.