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5G: The Greatest Show On Earth! Vol 14: Pick Your Poison

  • ID: 5206408
  • Report
  • November 2020
  • Region: Global
  • 62 Pages
  • Signals Research Group, LLC

FEATURED COMPANIES

  • Accuver Americas
  • Rohde & Schwarz
  • Spirent Communications

The publisher just completed their fourteenth 5G benchmark study, this time with a focus on Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS), based on Verizon’s networks in Minneapolis (CRS-RM) and Oklahoma City (MBSFN), as well as AT&T’s network in Plano, Texas (CRS-RM).

Highlights of the Report include the following:

Thanks

This study was performed in collaboration with Accuver Americas, Rohde & Schwarz, and Spirent Communications who provided the publisher with their respective test equipment and platforms, which is identified 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

The publisher tested with smartphones that supported 5G NR DSS as well as smartphones that were locked to LTE Band 5 - the same band the operators were using for DSS. They filtered data to those times when all smartphones were receiving data traffic and attached to the same PCI, plus they limited their analysis to the DSS band to eliminate the impact of other bands on the results. The publisher did drive tests, stationary tests, and tests with LTE and 5G NR DSS smartphones in adjacent cells to evaluate the potential impact of interference.

Meaningful Inefficiencies Exist

With the CRS-RM implementation of DSS, the publisher documented significant inefficiencies across all network geometries relative to LTE performance in the same band. With the MBSFN implementation of DSS, the inefficiencies are hidden in plain sight due to the dynamic mix of 5G NR and LTE traffic that will always occur in an operator’s network. The inefficiencies hurt LTE and 5G NR performance.

More Art than Science

Smartphone behavior with low band technologies remains a problem. Getting a smartphone to use 5G NR versus a low band LTE channel isn’t straight forward - if the smartphone camps on a low band LTE channel then it won’t/can’t use a low band 5G NR channel (DSS or otherwise).

Optional, yet Mandatory

Operators clearly favor the CRS-RM implementation but they aren’t using any flavor of DSS if they don’t need to use DSS. Further, just because a particular band has DSS today, doesn’t mean it will have DSS tomorrow. Ultimately, unless an operator wants to commit a radio channel to LTE for the next decade, they will have to use DSS at some point. 5G NR carrier aggregation and SA (standalone) will accelerate the use of DSS and make the technology more interesting.

CBRS was a Bright Spot

Verizon has leveraged CBRS spectrum for LTE, and its impact on total throughput was significant, dwarfing the modest contribution from low band 5G NR. Yes, the smartphones support simultaneous use of CBRS and 5G NR - the former provides the bulk of the data speeds and the latter, along with the LTE anchor cell, provides the 5G icon.

Overselling Low Band 5G NR

Even in a perfect world, with no DSS inefficiencies, a low band 5G NR channel will perform no better than LTE for eMBB use cases, all things being equal. The same statement is true for a dedicated low band 5G NR radio channel. This reality hasn’t prevented operators from hyping their low band 5G NR networks, which does a disservice to 5G and hurts consumers in the long run.

Sidebar Study

The publisher used a R&S scanner to look at 5G NR coverage between T-Mobile (Band n71) and Verizon (Band n5) in Minneapolis and Oklahoma City. They observed big differences between the two operator’s networks and between the two cities, not to mention between the online coverage maps and the coverage observed.

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown

FEATURED COMPANIES

  • Accuver Americas
  • Rohde & Schwarz
  • Spirent Communications

1.0 Executive Summary

2.0 Key Observations

3.0 DSS with CRS Rate Matching
3.1 Greater Minneapolis Area - Verizon Wireless
3.1.1 DSS Test 3-4
3.1.2 DSS Test 25
3.1.3 DSS Test 39
3.1.4 DSS Test 15-16
3.1.5 DSS Test 21
3.1.6 DSS Test 34
3.2 Greater Plano Area - AT&T

4.0 DSS with MBSFN
4.1 DSS 200
4.2 DSS 212
4.3 DSS 210
4.4 DSS 213

5.0 Test Methodology

6.0 Final Thoughts

7.0 Appendix

Index of Figures & Tables
Figure 1. 5G NR Band n5 RSRP - DSS Test 25
Figure 2. 5G NR Band n71 RSRP - DSS Test 25
Figure 3. Minneapolis Test Area
Figure 4. Drive Test Route - DSS Test 3-4
Figure 5. 5G NR DSS Band n5 versus LTE Band 5 RB Efficiency
Figure 6. 5G NR DSS Band n5 versus LTE Band 5 RB Normalized Throughput
Figure 7. Mobile Device Band/Technology Utilization
Figure 8. Mobile Device Aggregate Total Throughput and CBRS Contributions
Figure 9. Geo Plot of 5G NR and CBRS Utilization - Mobile Device 1 and Mobile Device 2
Figure 10. Mobile Device Throughput with 5G NR DSS and CBRS Active
Figure 11. Mobile Device 1 5G NR FR2 and CBRS Throughput Time Series
Figure 12. Mobile Device 2 5G NR DSS Band n5 and CBRS Throughput Time Series
Figure 13. 5G NR DSS Band n5 SINR
Figure 14. 5G NR Band n71 SINR
Figure 15. 5G NR DSS Band n5 versus LTE Band 5 RB Efficiency
Figure 16. Mobile Device 1 Technology and Band Utilization
Figure 17. Mobile Device 1 and Mobile Device 2 Technology and Band Utilization - geo plot
Figure 18. DSS Test 39 Drive Route
Figure 19. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Normalized Throughput Distribution
Figure 20. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Normalized Throughput
Figure 21. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RSRP Distribution
Figure 22. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Normalized Throughput and LTE RSRP Delta Time Series
Figure 23. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 MCS and RSRP Time Series
Figure 24. DSS Test 15-16 Drive Route
Figure 25. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Efficiency
Figure 26. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Efficiency versus LTE RSRP Time Series Plot
Figure 27. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 Throughput and RB Normalized Throughput Time Series Plot
Figure 28. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 Network Conditions
Figure 29. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Efficiency and Spectral Efficiency
Figure 30. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 Throughput Time Series Plot
Figure 31. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Normalized Throughput Time Series Plot
Figure 32. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Normalized Throughput
Figure 33. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Efficiency
Figure 34. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Efficiency versus RSRP
Figure 35. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RSRP Distribution
Figure 36. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 SINR Distribution
Figure 37. Oklahoma Test Area
Figure 38. 5G NR Band n5 RSRP
Figure 39. 5G NR Band n71 RSRP
Figure 40. 5G NR DSS Band n5 SINR
Figure 41. 5G NR DSS Band n71 SINR
Figure 42. RSRP versus SINR in Minneapolis and Oklahoma City
Figure 43. Spectral Efficiency Relative to LTE Band 5 (No DSS)
Figure 44. 5G NR DSS Band n5 SINR
Figure 45. 5G NR Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Efficiency
Figure 46. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Allocation Time Series Plot
Figure 47. 5G NR Band n5 DSS and LTE Band 5 PCI Map
Figure 48. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Efficiency
Figure 49. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Allocation Time Series Plot
Figure 50. Test 212 5G NR Radio Conditions
Figure 51. 5G NR Band n5 DSS RSRP
Figure 52. 5G NR DSS Band n5 SINR
Figure 53. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Efficiency
Figure 54. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE PCI Map
Figure 55. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Efficiency
Figure 56. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Time Series Plot
Figure 57. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 Throughput versus 5G NR RSRP Time Series Plot
Figure 58. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 Throughput versus 5G NR SINR Time Series Plot
Figure 59. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 Throughput versus PDCP Combining Losses Time Series Plot
Figure 60. XCAL-M with Smartphone Diagnostics
Figure 61. XCAL-M with Scanner Information
Figure 62. TSME6 Scanner
Figure 63. TSMA6 Scanner Screenshot
Figure 64. Umetrix Data Architecture
Figure 65. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 MCS and SINR Time Series
Figure 66. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 MCS and RSRP Time Series

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown

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  • Accuver Americas
  • Rohde & Schwarz
  • Spirent Communications
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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