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Verizon, Ericsson and Qualcomm this week announced what company officials called the first successful Frequency Division Duplexing Massive MIMO trial with a compatible customer device.

The companies conducted the trial — using Ericsson software and hardware on Verizon's network — with a test device equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 mobile platform with X20 LTE using TM9.

Although Massive Multiple Input, Multiple Output technology could substantially improve network capacity, officials said both networks and devices must support TM9 — which utilizes advanced beamforming schemes — to raise network spectral efficiency and customer speeds.

Verizon officials said Massive MIMO is vital to both its 4G LTE and 5G ambitions, eventually creating single-digit latency and the ability to scale to billions of connections. The company previously deployed FDD Massive MIMO on its network in Irvine, Calif.

"We don't wait for the future, we build it," Verizon Chief Network Engineer Nicola Palmer said in a statement. "And this is another great example of moving the industry forward."

Commercial smartphones with TM9-compatible chipsets are expected to be released in the first half of 2018, while Ericsson's Massive MIMO portfolio should also be available beginning next year.

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