Signals Ahead: How Fast is that Kangaroo in the Window? The One With the 256 QAM

  • ID: 3711911
  • Report
  • Region: Global
  • 50 Pages
  • Signals Research Group, LLC
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In this Signals Ahead report we provide the results of the industry's first truly independent benchmark study of how an LTE-Advanced (Rel 12) network with 256 QAM performs. This study was conducted using Telstra's 600 Mbps LTE network in Melbourne, Australia.

Highlights of the Study include the following:

Our Thanks

This study was done in collaboration with Accuver Americas who provided us with its suite of drive test products, including XCAL-M to collect the data and XCAP for the post processing and analysis of the data.

The Device

We used a NETGEAR 810S mobile hotspot (Category 11 device) with the Qualcomm Snapdragon X12 LTE modem.

The Comparison, I

Surprisingly, the availability of the 256 QAM modulation scheme in the macro network was on par with the availability of 64 QAM in an HSPA+ network, based on a comparison of these most recent results with earlier tests that we did in the operator's network in 2009.

The Comparison, II

In some lengthy drive tests we observed 256 QAM more frequently than we observed QPSK.

The Forward-Looking View

Our analysis of Ericsson Lean Carrier (ELC) - Telstra enabled and disabled the feature at our request - suggests that even higher availability of 256 QAM is likely.

The Implications

Despite the original focus of 256 QAM for small cells only, we foresee tremendous advantages associated with deploying 256 QAM throughput an operator's macro network.

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Signals Ahead is a research-focused product that is published on a periodic basis. Its clientele include all facets of the wireless ecosystem, including some of the largest mobile operators, the top handset suppliers, the major infrastructure vendors, subsystem suppliers, semiconductor companies and financial institutions, including Wall Street, Private Equity and Venture Capitalists, spread across five continent
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1.0 Executive Summary

2.0 Key Observations

3.0 256 QAM Macro Network Analysis
3.1 HSPA+ and 64 QAM - A Trip Down Memory Lane
3.2 Melbourne CBD - Early Morning Drive Test
3.3 Melbourne CBD - Noontime Pedestrian Stroll
3.4 Middle Park, Victoria - Early Morning Toorak Drive Test
3.5 Middle Park, Victoria - Early Morning Figure Eight Drive Test

4.0 Ericsson Lean Carrier Evaluation
4.1 Middle Park, Victoria - Early Morning Lakeside "Grand Prix" Drive Test
4.2 Middle Park, Victoria - Early Morning Lakeside "Grand Prix" Drive Test, II
4.3 Stationary Test Results

5.0 Test Methodology

6.0 Final Thoughts

7.0 Appendix

Index of Figures & Tables

Figure 1. Melbourne CBD Cat 14 Drive Test (05/07, 0500 hours)
Figure 2. Melbourne CBD Cat 14 Drive Test (05/06, 1730 hours)
Figure 3. Melbourne CBD Cat 14 Pedestrian Mode (05/05, 1500 hours)
Figure 4. Distribution of Physical Layer Throughput - by code word and frequency band
Figure 5. Distribution of Physical Layer Throughput - by code word and frequency band
Figure 6. Distribution of SINR - by frequency band
Figure 7. Correlation of SINR and MCS Values - Band 28
Figure 8. Geo Plot of 256 QAM Availability - Band 28
Figure 9. Distribution of Modulation Schemes - by radio carrier
Figure 10. Distribution of Modulation Schemes - by radio carrier
Figure 11. Scatter Plot of SINR versus 256 QAM Availability
Figure 12. SINR versus 256 QAM Availability
Figure 13. Time Series Plot of RSRP - by primary and secondary carriers
Figure 14. Time Series Plot of SINR - by primary and secondary carriers
Figure 15. Distribution of SINR - Band 7
Figure 16. Scatter Plot of SINR versus MCS Values - by code word for Band 7
Figure 17. SINR versus MCS Values
Figure 18. Distribution of Modulation Scheme - Band 7
Figure 19. SINR versus 256 QAM Availability - Band 7
Figure 20. Distribution of SINR - by frequency band
Figure 21. Geo Plot of 256 QAM Availability - Band 28
Figure 22. Distribution of Modulation Scheme - by frequency band
Figure 23. Distribution of Modulation Scheme - by frequency band
Figure 24. Geo Plot of Physical Layer Throughput
Figure 25. Geo Plot of 256 QAM Availability - Band 28
Figure 26. Distribution of SINR - by frequency band
Figure 27. Distribution of Modulation Scheme - by frequency band
Figure 28. Distribution of Modulation Scheme - by frequency band
Figure 29. Distribution of SINR - by frequency band
Figure 30. Geo Plot of 256 QAM Availability - Band 28
Figure 31. Distribution of Modulation Scheme - by frequency band
Figure 32. Distribution of Modulation Scheme - by frequency band
Figure 33. SINR versus 256 QAM Availability - Band 28
Figure 34. Geo Plot of 256 QAM Availability - Band 28
Figure 35. Distribution of SINR - by frequency band
Figure 36. Distribution of Modulation and Coding Scheme - Band 28
Figure 37. Distribution of Modulation and Coding Scheme - Band 3
Figure 38. Distribution of Modulation Scheme - by frequency band
Figure 39. Distribution of Modulation Scheme - by frequency band
Figure 40. Differences in RSRP for Band 28 - by test location
Figure 41. Differences in SINR for Band 28 - by test location
Figure 42. Distribution of Modulation Scheme with and without ELC - select test locations
Figure 43. XCAL in Action
Figure 44. Geo Plot of 256 QAM Availability - Band 3
Figure 45. Geo Plot of 256 QAM Availability - Band 7
Figure 46. Time Series Plot of Physical Layer Throughput - by primary and secondary carriers
Figure 47. Scatter Plot of SINR versus 256 QAM Availability - Band 7
Figure 48. Geo Plot of 256 QAM Availability - Band 3
Figure 49. Geo Plot of 256 QAM Availability - Band 3
Figure 50. Scatter Plot of SINR versus 256 QAM Availability - Band 28
Figure 51. Geo Plot of 256 QAM Availability - Band 28
Figure 52. Geo Plot of 256 QAM Availability - Band 3
Figure 53. Time Series Plot of RSRP - by primary and secondary carriers
Figure 54. Time Series Plot of SINR - by primary and secondary carriers
Figure 55. Time Series Plot of Physical Layer Throughput - by primary and secondary carriers
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