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5G NR Benchmark Study Vol 26: Three's Company

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    Report

  • 36 Pages
  • January 2023
  • Region: Global
  • Signals Research Group, LLC
  • ID: 5640028

The publisher just completed its 26th 5G NR benchmark study. For this endeavor they collaborated with Accuver Americas and Spirent Communications to conduct an independent benchmark study of 5G 3CC, including Band n71 (FDD - 15 MHz), Band n41 (100 MHz - TDD) and Band n41 (40 MHz - TDD).  

Highlights of the Report include the following:

Acknowledgements

This study was conducted in collaboration Accuver Americas (XCAL-M and XCAP) and Spirent Communications (Umetrix Voice and Umetrix Data). The publisher is responsible for the data collection and all analysis and commentary provided in this report. 

Publisher Methodology

Testing took place over a three-day period in early July. The publisher had access to a T-Mobile 17-site test cluster that is part of its commercial network. Using a Galaxy S22 with pre-release software that supported 3CC and SA the publisher did comparative drive testing with a Galaxy S21 smartphone that was limited to 2CC. The publisher also forced this phone to operate in NSA mode.  

Four Areas of Focus

The publisher looked at 3CC peak performance in an "empty network", mapped SINR and RSRP to the distance to the serving cell(s) for both n71 and n41, documented the incremental benefits of using Band n71 FDD as the anchor carrier with Band n41 serving as the secondary cells, and evaluated the performance attributes of the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S21 smartphones. 

FDD-TDD Advantage

The publisher once again observed the benefits of using FDD as the anchor band to help extend and improve Band n41 coverage and performance. For the publisher, the challenge remains finding locations in the network (outside and not in-building) where the feature is necessary. 

n71 Versus n41

By knowing the exact locations of the serving cell sites the publisher was able to show the relationships between Band n41 and Band n71 RSRP and the distance to the serving cell. The publisher shows that in a network designed for capacity (not simply coverage) the penalty for using mid-band frequencies for 5G is overstated (although real). Further, the publisher once again shows that low frequencies may be great for coverage but the mid-band frequencies actually deliver overall better network quality.  

S21 Versus S22

For the publisher, this analysis proved to be the most interesting. Although the two phones performed largely the same over all network conditions, there were obvious differences in how they achieved their respective results. Further, one smartphone tended to perform much better with more favourable RF. We'll let you guess which one. 

Table of Contents

1.0 Executive Summary 

2.0 Key Observations 

3.0 RF Related Performance Results and Analysis 
3.1 3CC Empty Network with Ideal Conditions
3.2 Distance Analysis 
3.3 3CC SA versus 2CC NSA 
3.4 Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S22 Performance Attributes 

4.0 Test Methodology 

5.0 Final Thoughts 

Index of Figures & Tables
Figure 1. RF Conditions - RSRP and SINR
Figure 2. RF Conditions - SINR Time Series 
Figure 3. MCS Allocations - by frequency band 
Figure 4. MIMO Layers - by frequency band 
Figure 5. Modulation Distribution - by frequency band 
Figure 6. 5G Physical Layer Throughput Time Series 
Figure 7. 5G Resource Block Allocations - by frequency band 
Figure 8. Spectral Efficiency - by frequency band
Figure 9. Band n71 SINR Versus Distance 
Figure 10. Band n71 RSRP Versus Distance 
Figure 11. Band n41 SINR Versus Distance 
Figure 12. Band n41 RSRP Versus Distance 
Figure 13. Band n71 and Band n41 SINR Versus Distance 
Figure 14. Band n71 and Band n41 RSRP Versus Distance
Figure 15. Band n71 Coverage 
Figure 16. Band n41 Coverage 
Figure 17. Drive Route - S21 in NSA Only Mode 
Figure 18. Drive Route - S22 in SA Only Mode 
Figure 19. RSRP Distribution - by frequency band
Figure 20. SINR Distribution - by frequency band 
Figure 22. Average Throughput by 5G Carrier - S22 SA and S21 NSA 
Figure 23. Distribution of Throughput by 5G Carrier - S22 SA and S21 NSA 
Figure 24. Handover Count - S22 SA and S21 NSA 
Figure 25. RSRP Time Series - S22 SA and S21 NSA 
Figure 26. PUSCH Transmit Power versus RSRP - S22 SA and S21 NSA 
Figure 27. RB Normalized Throughput versus RSRP - S22 SA and S21 NSA 
Figure 28. Distribution of Modulation Schemes by Frequency Band - S21 NSA and S22 SA
Figure 29. Average MIMO Rank by Frequency Band - S21 NSA and S22 SA
Figure 30. 256QAM Usage Versus SINR - S21 NSA and S22 SA 
Figure 31. MIMO Layers Versus SINR - S21 NSA and S22 SA
Figure 32. MCS Allocations Versus SINR - S21 NSA and S22 SA
Figure 33. RB Normalized Throughput Versus SINR - S21 NSA and S22 SA 
Figure 34. Average RB Normalized Throughput With SINR At Or Above 20 dB - S21 NSA and S22 
Figure 35. Average Normalized Throughput by Frequency Band - S21 NSA and S22 SA 
Figure 36. Spectral Efficiency by Frequency Band - S21 NSA and S22 SA 
Figure 37. XCAL-M 
Figure 38. Umetrix Data Architecture 
Figure 39. Umetrix Voice 

Companies Mentioned

  • Samsung
  • T-Mobile