Signals Ahead: Small Cells + LAA Benchmark Study

  • ID: 4457607
  • Report
  • 60 Pages
  • Signals Research Group, LLC
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A Benchmark Study of Small Cells with LAA

For this round of study, we turned our attention to LAA (Licensed Assisted Access) and the AT&T network in Indianapolis, Indiana where Ericsson is the infrastructure supplier. This trip marked the third time we've been to the city - once before small cells (May 2017), once after AT&T had deployed a limited number of small cells (Sept 2017), and, most recently, after AT&T had deployed a significant number of small cells with LAA functionality.
 
Highlights of the Report include the following:

The Numbers:

  • 450 GB (at least) of transferred data in the downlink direction
  • 795.1 Mbps peak data rate
  • 230 Mbps average data rate (overall, including non-small cell usage)
  • More than 60% of data transferred on unlicensed spectrum
  • Nine different UNII-1 and UNII-3 channels, including Channel 165, used at some point during the tests
  • Less than 5 hours required to transfer the data (user experience tests only)
  • 1 square kilometer (approximate) test area

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.

Methodology

We used FTP downlink full buffer (1.6 Gbps FTP server) and various user experience tests (Google Play, Google Drive, etc.) to generate data traffic while walking and driving around the downtown area. We used both time-based and geo-binned data for our analysis of the network, comparing results for each test period, as well results between mobility and pedestrian testing.

Just Some of The Analysis:

  • PHY layer and RB normalized PHY layer throughput - macro, small cells, unlicensed versus licensed - distributions and geo plots
  • Throughput versus SINR and RSRP - by licensed and unlicensed radio carrier; mobility versus walking
  • Implied Spectral Efficiency - macro versus small cells
  • Relationships between licensed primary carrier and Band 46(5 GHz) for many key metrics (e.g., RSRP, SINR, etc.)
  • Comparisons of MIMO Rank, modulation schemes, and MCS by radio carrier
  • Impact of vehicular speed on SINR and data speeds - small cells and macro
  • Indoor Coverage Comparison - licensed versus Band 46
  • User Experience

A Must Read

This report is a "must read" for any organization interested in the incremental benefits that small cells, including small cells with LAA, have on the user experience and overall network efficiency.

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1.0 Executive Summary
2.0 Key Observations
3.0 Background
4.0 Walk Test Analysis
5.0 Drive Test Analysis
6.0 User Experience Analysis
7.0 Test Methodology
8.0 Final Thoughts
9.0 Appendix

List of Figures
Figure 1. Very High Summary Level Results
Figure 2. AT&T Small Cell - Configuration #1
Figure 3. AT&T Small Cell - Configuration #2
Figure 4. AT&T Small Cell - Configuration #3
Figure 5. AT&T 5 GHz LAA Utilization
Figure 6. 5 GHz Channel Utilization - LAA #1 and LAA #2 Cells
Figure 7. Overall Physical Layer Throughput Geo Plot
Figure 8. Overall Physical Layer Throughput Distribution - by total and component carrier
Figure 9. Overall Physical Layer Throughput Distribution - by component carrier
Figure 10. Small Cell (Band 2 + LAA) Physical Layer Throughput Geo Plot
Figure 11. Small Cell (LAA Only) Physical Layer Throughput Geo Plot
Figure 12. Small Cell with LAA Physical Layer Throughput Distribution - by total and component carrier
Figure 13. Small Cell with LAA Physical Layer Throughput Distribution - by component carrier
Figure 14. Small Cell with LAA Physical Layer Throughput Summary
Figure 15. Small Cell PCI Mapping Geo Plot
Figure 16. Small Cell Median RSRP and SINR - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 17. Small Cell Average MIMO Rank - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 18. Small Cell Average Modulation Scheme - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 19. Small Cell Median MCS Value - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 20. Small Cell SINR CDF - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 21. Small Cell SINR - Band 2 versus LAA
Figure 22. Small Cell SINR - Band 2 versus LAA Delta
Figure 23. Small Cell RSRP CDF - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 24. Small Cell RSRP - Band 2 versus LAA
Figure 25. Small Cell RSRP - Band 2 versus LAA Delta
Figure 26. Area Mapping
Figure 27. "Area 3" Throughput Comparison - with and without small cells and LAA
Figure 28. "Area 3" RSRP Comparison - with and without small cells and LAA
Figure 29. "Area 3" SINR Comparison - with and without small cells and LAA
Figure 30. "Area 3" MCS Comparison - with and without small cells and LAA
Figure 31. "Area 1" and "Area 2" RSRP Comparison - with and without small cells and LAA
Figure 32. "Area 1" and "Area 2" SINR Comparison - with and without small cells and LAA
Figure 33. "Area 2" MCS Comparison - with and without small cells and LAA
Figure 34. "Area 2" and "Area 3" Band 2 Spectral Efficiency Comparison (Method #1) - with and without small cells and LAA
Figure 35. "Area 3" Band 2 Spectral Efficiency Comparison (Method #2) - with and without small cells and LAA
Figure 36. RB Normalized Throughput versus RSRP - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 37. Throughput versus RSRP - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 38. RB Normalized Throughput versus SINR - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 39. Overall Physical Layer Throughput Geo Plot
Figure 40. Small Cell with LAA Physical Layer Throughput Distribution - by total and component carrier
Figure 41. Small Cell with LAA Physical Layer Throughput Distribution - by component carrier
Figure 42. Small Cell Median RSRP and SINR - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 43. Small Cell Average MIMO Rank - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 44. Small Cell Average Modulation Scheme - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 45. Small Cell Median MCS Value - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 46. Small Cell SINR CDF - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 47. Small Cell SINR - Band 2 versus LAA (walking versus driving)
Figure 48 .Small Cell SINR - Band 2 versus LAA Delta (walking versus driving)
Figure 49. Small Cell RSRP CDF - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 50. Small Cell RSRP - Band 2 versus LAA (walking versus driving)
Figure 51. Small Cell RSRP - Band 2 versus LAA Delta (walking versus driving)
Figure 52. "Area 3" Throughput Comparison - walking versus driving
Figure 53. "Area 3" RSRP Comparison - walking versus driving
Figure 54. "Area 3" SINR Comparison - walking versus driving
Figure 55. SINR versus Speed - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 56. Throughput versus Speed - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 57. FTP Server Ping Test
Figure 58. FTP Versus Speedtest - time series
Figure 59. FTP Versus Speedtest Overall Throughput Summary - by component carrier
Figure 60. FTP Versus Google Drive - time series
Figure 61. FTP Versus Google Drive Overall Throughput Summary - by component carrier
Figure 62. FTP Versus Google Play - time series
Figure 63. FTP Versus Google Play Overall Throughput Summary - by component carrier
Figure 64. Indoor Test Physical Layer Data Speeds - time series and average by component carrier
Figure 25. Small Cell RSRP - Band 2 versus LAA Delta
Figure 26. Area Mapping
Figure 27. "Area 3" Throughput Comparison - with and without small cells and LAA
Figure 28. "Area 3" RSRP Comparison - with and without small cells and LAA
Figure 29. "Area 3" SINR Comparison - with and without small cells and LAA
Figure 30. "Area 3" MCS Comparison - with and without small cells and LAA
Figure 31. "Area 1" and "Area 2" RSRP Comparison - with and without small cells and LAA
Figure 32. "Area 1" and "Area 2" SINR Comparison - with and without small cells and LAA
Figure 33. "Area 2" MCS Comparison - with and without small cells and LAA
Figure 34. "Area 2" and "Area 3" Band 2 Spectral Efficiency Comparison (Method #1) - with and without small cells and LAA
Figure 35. "Area 3" Band 2 Spectral Efficiency Comparison (Method #2) - with and without small cells and LAA
Figure 36. RB Normalized Throughput versus RSRP - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 37. Throughput versus RSRP - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 38. RB Normalized Throughput versus SINR - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 39. Overall Physical Layer Throughput Geo Plot
Figure 40. Small Cell with LAA Physical Layer Throughput Distribution - by total and component carrier
Figure 41. Small Cell with LAA Physical Layer Throughput Distribution - by component carrier
Figure 42. Small Cell Median RSRP and SINR - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 43. Small Cell Average MIMO Rank - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 44. Small Cell Average Modulation Scheme - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 45. Small Cell Median MCS Value - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 46. Small Cell SINR CDF - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 47. Small Cell SINR - Band 2 versus LAA (walking versus driving)
Figure 48 .Small Cell SINR - Band 2 versus LAA Delta (walking versus driving)
Figure 49. Small Cell RSRP CDF - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 50. Small Cell RSRP - Band 2 versus LAA (walking versus driving)
Figure 51. Small Cell RSRP - Band 2 versus LAA Delta (walking versus driving)
Figure 52. "Area 3" Throughput Comparison - walking versus driving
Figure 53. "Area 3" RSRP Comparison - walking versus driving
Figure 54. "Area 3" SINR Comparison - walking versus driving
Figure 55. SINR versus Speed - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 56. Throughput versus Speed - Band 2 and LAA
Figure 57. FTP Server Ping Test
Figure 58. FTP Versus Speedtest - time series
Figure 59. FTP Versus Speedtest Overall Throughput Summary - by component carrier
Figure 60. FTP Versus Google Drive - time series
Figure 61. FTP Versus Google Drive Overall Throughput Summary - by component carrier
Figure 62. FTP Versus Google Play - time series
Figure 63. FTP Versus Google Play Overall Throughput Summary - by component carrier
Figure 64. Indoor Test Physical Layer Data Speeds - time series and average by component carrier

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  • AT&T
  • Ericsson
  • Google
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