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5G: The Greatest Show on Earth! Vol 13: Needle in a Haystack

  • ID: 5157530
  • Report
  • October 2020
  • Region: Global
  • 54 Pages
  • Signals Research Group, LLC

FEATURED COMPANIES

  • AT&T
  • McLaren
  • Samsung
  • T-Mobile
  • MORE

The publisher just completed their thirteenth 5G benchmark study, this time with a focus on the T-Mobile Band n71 5G NR Standalone (SA) network and how it compares with the operator’s 5G NR Non-Standalone (NSA) network. They tested in the Dallas area, as well as rural areas in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Highlights of the Report include the following:

Thanks: This study was in collaboration with Accuver Americas, Rohde & Schwarz, and Spirent Communications who provided the publisher with their respective test equipment and platforms, which they identify in the report. The publisher did all the testing and analysis of the data and they are solely responsible for the commentary in the report.

Methodology: Most of the testing was with two smartphones operating in parallel. One smartphone (S20 Ultra) supported SA and the other smartphone (McLaren OnePlus or Note 10 Plus) only supported NSA. In some tests they forced the S20 Ultra to remain in SA mode even though NSA was available. They logged chipset diagnostic messages and captured scanner data to independently determine LTE and 5G NR RF characteristics.

Improved Coverage and Performance: Although it wasn’t easy to find locations where the smartphone used [needed] SA, in those regions, the publisher observed 5G NR coverage which didn’t exist with the NSA-capable smartphone. They also documented meaningful increases in end-user data speeds, even in cases when the NSA smartphone was using both LTE and 5G NR.

Latency Results were Mixed: The publisher measured handover times, acquisition times, RTT and web page load times. The results were mixed, at best.

Related Challenges: PDCP packet losses, especially with poor LTE coverage remain a big problem that isn’t specific to any operator or vendor. Furthermore, they continue to observe smartphones camping on a low-band LTE frequency (i.e., Band 12) instead of leveraging 5G NR in another low-band frequency. The publisher is very familiar with the airplane mode feature which can trigger a different response and the desired outcome.

Sidebar Study: Because they could, the publisher drove across much of Wisconsin while testing the top three operator networks. AT&T had the fastest network (by far) while the T-Mobile network had the greatest use of 5G NR. They also captured scanner data to look at operator low-/mid-band LTE coverage and 5G NR coverage.

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown

FEATURED COMPANIES

  • AT&T
  • McLaren
  • Samsung
  • T-Mobile
  • MORE

1.0 Executive Summary

2.0 Key Observations

3.0 Latency-Related Metrics

4.0 5G NR SA Coverage and Performance
4.1 Wisconsin
4.2 Minnesota

5.0 Test Methodology

6.0 Final Thoughts

7.0 Appendix

List of Figures & Tables

Figure 1. Average LTE and 5G NR Throughput - by operator
Figure 2. Distribution of Total Throughput - by operator
Figure 3. Distribution of Aggregate LTE Channel Bandwidth - by operator
Figure 4. Utilization of LTE Carrier Aggregation Schemes and 5G NR - by operator
Figure 5. Latency Round Trip Time (RTT) Results by operator
Figure 6. Latency Round Trip Time (RTT) Results by operator
Figure 7. Web Page Load Time Results - SA versus NSA by operator
Figure 8. Web Page Application Layer Throughput - SA versus NSA
Figure 9. Web Page Physical Layer Throughput - NSA
Figure 10. Handover Times - 5G NR SA versus 5G NR NSA by operator
Figure 11. 5G NR SA Handover Signaling
Figure 12. NSA 5G NR PCI Only Handover Signaling
Figure 13. NSA 5G NR and LTE PCI Handover Signaling
Figure 14. NSA LTE PCI Handover Signaling
Figure 15. RRC Connection Times - 5G NR SA versus 5G NR NSA
Figure 16. 5G NR NSA Connection Signaling
Figure 17. 5G NR SA Connection Signaling
Figure 18. T-Mobile Technology Coverage Map
Figure 19. T-Mobile Technology Utilization
Figure 20. Distribution of T-Mobile Mid-Band LTE RSRP
Figure 21. Distribution of T-Mobile Mid-Band LTE SINR
Figure 22. Distribution of T-Mobile Low-Band LTE RSRP
Figure 23. Distribution of T-Mobile Low-Band LTE SINR
Figure 24. Distribution of T-Mobile LTE Primary Carrier - by frequency
Figure 25. 5G NR SA versus 5G NR NSA Throughput - Transition 1
Figure 26. SA versus NSA RSRP - Transition 1
Figure 27. LTE Only to SA Transition - Transition 1
Figure 28. PCI 601 5G NR NSA to 5G NR SA and back to 5G NR NSA
Figure 29. LTE Only to 5G NR SA Transition - Transition 2
Figure 30. USCC LTE to T-Mobile SA Transition
Figure 31. USCC LTE to T-Mobile LTE Transition
Figure 32. T-Mobile Low-Band LTE Coverage along Drive Route
Figure 33. SA PCIs and RSRP - MN
Figure 34. NSA PCIs, LTE PCIs and LTE RSRP - MN
Figure 35. S20 and McLaren OnePlus Throughput and Mid-band LTE RSRP
Figure 36. McLaren OnePlus Throughput and Mid-band LTE RSRP
Figure 37. McLaren OnePlus Low-band and Mid-Band LTE RSRP
Figure 38. S20 and McLaren Throughput and Mid-band LTE RSRP
Figure 39. S20 and McLaren Throughput and Mid-band LTE RSRP
Figure 40. SA Extended Coverage - Outbound Trip
Figure 41. NSA and SA Utilization, including Mid-Band LTE Coverage - Return Trip
Figure 42. SA versus NSA Throughput - Area 1
Figure 43. T-Mobile Cell Site Home on the Range
Figure 44. SA versus NSA Throughput - Area 2
Figure 45. SA versus NSA Throughput - Area 2
Figure 46. XCAL-M in Action
Figure 47. TSME6 Scanner
Figure 48. XCAL-M with TSME6 Scanner Information
Figure 49. Umetrix Data Architecture
Figure 50. Distribution of T-Mobile Primary Band LTE RSRP
Figure 51. Distribution of T-Mobile Primary Band LTE SINR
Figure 52. T-Mobile Low-Band LTE Coverage - Wisconsin Drive Route
Figure 53. T-Mobile Mid-Band FDD LTE Coverage - Wisconsin Drive Route
Figure 54. T-Mobile Mid-Band TDD LTE Coverage I - Wisconsin Drive Route
Figure 55. T-Mobile Mid-Band TDD LTE Coverage II - Wisconsin Drive Route
Figure 56. Band n71 5G Coverage - Wisconsin Drive Route
Figure 57. Band n5 5G Coverage - Wisconsin Drive Route
Figure 58. T-Mobile Band n41 5G Coverage - Wisconsin Drive Route

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown

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  • AT&T
  • McLaren
  • Samsung
  • T-Mobile
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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