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Study: MIMO Becoming A Necessary Wireless Technology

Multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) technology for wireless networks is potentially "disruptive" and will be widely adopted both by vendors and users, according to a study released Wednesday by Datacomm Research.

MIMO technology will be part of the next-generation 802.11n Wi-Fi standard, but it also is applicable for other types of wireless networks as well. It uses multiple intelligent antennas to increase both range and speed.

"As more communications goes wireless, pressure builds to both increase network capacity and the throughput available to individual users," Ira Brodsky, Datacomm's president said in a statement. "MIMO, diversity, smart antennas, and interference cancellation technology offer the biggest returns for vendors' R&D dollars."

MIMO is attractive to wide area wireless network operators because it increases spectral efficiency, the study said. It noted, however, that while opinion remains divided about whether MIMO will be valuable for mobile communications, after consulting a panel of experts, the report concluded that MIMO can as much as double the capacity of mobile networks.

MIMO and similar technology will eventually become part of 3G handsets, smartphones and both notebook computers and 3G adapters used in those computers, the study concluded.