Signals Ahead: AT&T's 5G Evolution - LTE Small Cell Benchmark Study (LTE-FDD)

  • ID: 4418789
  • Report
  • 47 Pages
  • Signals Research Group, LLC
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It's a Small Cell World After All

In this Signals Ahead report we provide results from our independent and in-depth analysis of LTE small cells, specifically LTE-FDD small cells that have been deployed as part ofAT&T's 5G Evolution in Indianapolis, Indiana. We also include an overall assessment of the macro network performance.
 
Highlights of the Report include the following:

Our Thanks

This study could not have been done without the support of Accuver Americas, who provided us with its XCAL-Solo drive test tool and XCAP post-processing software.

Our Approach

We tested AT&T's "5G Evolution" in downtown Indianapolis - once in May (before small cells) and again in September (after small cells). We used geo binning of the data, filtered the results by EARFCN, separated the results between macro and small cell PCIs, and used RB normalization to provide the most meaningful analysis of the data.

The Small Cell Results

We identified material/substantial benefits in downlink and uplink performance, including all of the underlying performance metrics that influence user data speeds.We quantify these results and provide the relative impact on user data rates and spectral efficiency. We also analyzed the impact of interference.

The Macro Network Results

We've tested all the network features, going back to 1H/2015, but for completeness we include them in this study.

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1.0 Executive Summary

2.0 Key Observations

3.0 Downtown Analysis
3.1 Downlink Analysis
3.2 Uplink Analysis

4.0 Small Cells
4.1 Downlink Analysis
4.2 Uplink Analysis

5.0 Test Methodology

6.0 Final Thoughts

7.0 Appendix

List of Figures
Figure 1. Average Channel Bandwidth Allocations - May versus September
Figure 2. Distribution of Channel Bandwidth Allocations - May versus September
Figure 3. Geo Plot of Channel Bandwidth Allocations - May
Figure 4. Geo Plot of Channel Bandwidth Allocations - June
Figure 5. Distribution of Carrier Aggregation Usage
Figure 6. Geo Plot of Carrier Aggregation Usage - May
Figure 7. Geo Plot of Carrier Aggregation Usage - September
Figure 8. Median Downlink Data Rates - May versus September
Figure 9. Median Downlink Data Rate Probability Distribution Curves - May versus September
Figure 10. Implied Spectral Efficiency - May versus September
Figure 11. Median Downlink Data Rates with Geo Binning - May versus September
Figure 12. Average Channel Bandwidth with Geo Binning - May versus September
Figure 13. Implied Spectral Efficiency with Geo Binning - May versus September
Figure 14. Median SINR by Frequency Band - May versus September
Figure 15. Distribution of Modulation Scheme - May
Figure 16. Distribution of Modulation Scheme - September
Figure 17. Distribution of MIMO Rank Indicator Values - May
Figure 17. Distribution of MIMO Rank Indicator Values - May
Figure 19. Average Uplink Channel Bandwidth - May versus September
Figure 20. Uplink Frequency Allocation - May versus September
Figure 21. Uplink Average Data Rates - May versus September
Figure 22. Distribution of Uplink Average Data Rates - May versus September
Figure 23. Small Cell Near Lucas Stadium
Figure 24. Band 2 Cell PCI Geo Plot - May
Figure 25. Band 2 Cell PCI Geo Plot - September
Figure 26. RSRP and SINR for Area 1 - May versus September
Figure 27. Distribution of MIMO Rank - May versus September
Figure 28. Distribution of Modulation Scheme - May versus September
Figure 29. Physical Layer Data Rates and Implied Spectral Efficiency - May versus September
Figure 30. RSRP and SINR by PCI - May
Figure 31. RSRP and SINR by PCI - September
Figure 32. MIMO Rank by PCI - May
Figure 33. MIMO Rank by PCI - September
Figure 34. Distribution of Modulation Scheme by PCI - May
Figure 35. Distribution of Modulation Scheme by PCI - September
Figure 36. Physical Layer Data Rates by PCI - May
Figure 37. Physical Layer Data Rates by PCI - September
Figure 38. Implied Spectral Efficiency by PCI - May
Figure 39. Implied Spectral Efficiency by PCI - September
Figure 40. Interference Analysis by PCI
Figure 41. SINR Plot by Binned Area
Figure 42. RSRP and SINR - May versus September
Figure 43. Physical Layer Data Speeds, MIMO Rank, and Modulation Scheme Distributions -September
Figure 44. Downlink Path Loss - May versus September
Figure 45. PUSCH Transmit Power - May versus September
Figure 46. Geo Plot of PUSCH Transmit Power - May
Figure 47. Geo Plot of PUSCH Transmit Power - September
Figure 48 .Distribution of Uplink Modulation Schemes - May versus September
Figure 49. Median MCS Values - May versus September
Figure 50. Uplink Physical Layer Data Rates - May versus September
Figure 51. XCAL-Solo
Figure 52. RSRP and SINR by PCI - May
Figure 53. RSRP and SINR by PCI - September
Figure 54. MIMO Rank by PCI - May
Figure 55. MIMO Rank by PCI - September
Figure 56. Distribution of Modulation Scheme by PCI - May
Figure 57. Distribution of Modulation Scheme by PCI - September
Figure 58. Physical Layer Data Rates by PCI - May
Figure 59. Physical Layer Data Rates by PCI - September
Figure 60. Implied Spectral Efficiency by PCI - May
Figure 61. Implied Spectral Efficiency by PCI - September

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