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5G: the Greatest Show on Earth! MU-MIMO and the Tower of Power Chapter 1: The 8-Layer Conundrum

  • Report
  • January 2023
  • Region: Global
  • Signals Research Group, LLC
  • ID: 5715281

The publisher just completed their 30th 5G benchmark study. For this endeavour they collaborated with Accuver Americas and Spirent Communications to conduct an independent benchmark study of 5G 8-layer MU-MIMO, using the SRS-based implementation.

Highlights of the Report include the following:

Acknowledgements

This study was conducted in collaboration with Accuver Americas (XCAL5 and XCAP) and Spirent Communications (Umetrix Data). The publisher is responsible for the data collection and all analysis and commentary provided in this report.

Methodology

Testing took place on the T-Mobile network (Band n41) in southern California at commercial cell sites. The publisher used 4 smartphones or 4 FWA CPEs to load the network with full buffer data transfers. The publisher looked at the impact of UE placement within the cell as well as mobility. They analyzed all the typical KPIs, including RB usage, MIMO layers, MCS, and, of course, throughput, while also including vehicular speed and geo coordinates.

The Results

The publisher observed significant double-digit throughput gains due to MU-MIMO pairing relative to SU-MIMO (we disabled SRS / MU-MIMO in the network). Close placement of UEs had little, if any, impact on the efficiency of MU-MIMO with excellent pairing maintained.

The FWA Implications

T-Mobile has already deployed the functionality at all Ericsson Band n41 cell sites on a nationwide basis. For reasons discussed in the report, MU-MIMO functionality can have a significant positive influence on the FWA business case, even though some limitations to MU-MIMO exist.

More Available

This MU-MIMO report marks what the publisher anticipates will be at least a few more MU-MIMO studies in the coming year. They anticipate looking at 16-layer MU-MIMO, more device placement scenarios, different geographies (rural), and traffic profiles.

Table of Contents

1.0 Executive Summary 

2.0 Background

3.0 Key Observations 

4.0 Detailed Results and Analysis
4.1 Two Device Pairing with 8 Layers - Indoors
4.2 Outdoor Cell Site - Single UE Baseline Results
4.3 Outdoor Cell Site - MU-MIMO with Stationary UEs, I
4.4 Outdoor Cell Site - MU-MIMO with Stationary UEs, II 
4.5 Outdoor Cell Site - MU-MIMO with Stationary UEs and one Mobile UE
4.6 Outdoor Cell Site - SU-MIMO with Stationary UEs and one Mobile UE 
4.7 Consumer Premises Test Results
4.7.1 Baseline and Four-Device Pairing
4.7.2 Two-Device Pairing 

5.0 Test Methodology 

6.0 Final Thoughts 

Index of Figures & Tables
Figure 1. SU-MIMO Versus MU-MIMO Comparative Results 
Figure 2. Breaking Down the 5G System Frame 
Figure 3. Test Environment
Figure 4. Average Throughput - MU-MIMO versus Single UE with SU-MIMO
Figure 5. Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Throughput Time Series - by UE and Total
Figure 6. Secondary Cell 5G PDSCH Throughput Time Series - by UE and Total
Figure 7. Average Resource Block Allocations - Primary and Secondary Cells 
Figure 8. Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Resource Block Allocations Time Series - by UE and Total 
Figure 9. Secondary Cell 5G PDSCH Resource Block Allocations Time Series - by UE and Total 
Figure 10. Average 5G MIMO Layers - Primary and Secondary Cells 
Figure 11. Primary Cell 5G MIMO Layers Time Series - by UE and Total 
Figure 12. Secondary Cell 5G MIMO Layers Time Series - by UE and Total
Figure 13. Smartphone Test Locations, I 
Figure 14. Average Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Throughput - by UE 
Figure 15. Average Primary Cell 5G SINR - by UE 
Figure 16. Average Primary Cell 5G MIMO Layers - by UE
Figure 17. Average Primary Cell 5G MCS Values - by UE
Figure 18. Average Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Resource Block Allocations - by UE 
Figure 19. Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Throughput Time Series - by UE and Total 
Figure 20. Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Throughput Time Series - by UE 
Figure 21. Average Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Throughput - by UE pairing combos 
Figure 22. Average Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Throughput Relative to SU-MIMO - by UE pairing combos 
Figure 23. Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Resource Block Allocations Time Series - by UE and Total 
Figure 24. Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Resource Block Allocations Time Series - by UE
Figure 25. Average Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Resource Block Allocations - by UE pairing combos 
Figure 26. Average Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Resource Block Allocations Relative to SU-MIMO Maximum Possible - by UE pairing combos 
Figure 27. Primary Cell 5G PDSCH MCS Allocations Time Series - by UE
Figure 28. Primary Cell 5G MIMO Layers Time Series - by UE and Total
Figure 29. Primary Cell 5G MIMO Layers Time Series - by UE
Figure 30. Average Primary Cell 5G MIMO Layers - by UE pairing combos32
Figure 31. Average Primary Cell 5G MIMO Layers Relative to SU-MIMO Maximum Possible - by UE pairing combos
Figure 32. Smartphone Test Locations, II
Figure 33. Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Throughput Time Series - by UE and Total 
Figure 34. Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Throughput Time Series - by UE 
Figure 35. Average Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Throughput - by UE pairing combos 
Figure 36. Average Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Throughput Relative to SU-MIMO - by UE pairing combos 
Figure 37. Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Resource Block Allocations Time Series - by UE and Total
Figure 38. Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Resource Block Allocations Time Series - by UE37
Figure 39. Average Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Resource Block Allocations - by UE pairing combos 
Figure 40. Average Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Resource Block Allocations Relative to SU-MIMO Maximum Possible - by UE pairing combos 
Figure 41. Primary Cell 5G MCS Allocations Time Series - by UE 
Figure 42. Primary Cell 5G MIMO Layers Time Series - by UE and Total 
Figure 43. Primary Cell 5G MIMO Layers Time Series - by UE 
Figure 44. Average Primary Cell 5G MIMO Layers - by UE pairing combos 
Figure 45. Average Primary Cell 5G MIMO Layers Relative to SU-MIMO Maximum Possible - by UE pairing combos 
Figure 46. Smartphone Test Locations with Drive Route
Figure 47. SRS Transmit Power Versus RSRP
Figure 48. SRS Transmit Power Versus Downlink Pathloss
Figure 49. Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Resource Block Allocations Time Series - by UE and Total 
Figure 50. Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Resource Block Allocations Time Series - by UE
Figure 51. Average Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Resource Block Allocations - by UE pairing combos 
Figure 52. Average Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Resource Block Allocations Relative to SU-MIMO Maximum Possible - by UE pairing combos 
Figure 53. SRS Transmit Power Along Drive Route
Figure 54. UE #1 RB Allocations Along Drive Route 
Figure 55. Total RB Allocations Along Drive Route 
Figure 56. Primary Cell 5G MIMO Layers Time Series (Adjusted) - by UE and Total 
Figure 57. Average Primary Cell 5G MIMO Layers (Adjusted) - by Test location 
Figure 58. Primary Cell 5G MIMO Layers Time Series (Unadjusted) - by UE and Total
Figure 59. Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Throughput Time Series - by UE and Total
Figure 60. Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Throughput Time Series - by UE 
Figure 61. Average Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Throughput - by Test Location 
Figure 62. Average Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Throughput Relative to SU-MIMO Baseline- by Test Location 
Figure 63. UE #1 P Cell Throughput Versus Vehicular Speed Time Series 
Figure 64. Total P Cell Throughput Versus Vehicular Speed Time Series 
Figure 65. Primary Cell 5G PDSCH MCS Allocations Time Series - by UE 
Figure 66. Average Primary Cell 5G MCS Allocations - by Test Location
Figure 67. Primary Cell 5G Downlink Slot Allocations Time Series - by UE52
Figure 68. MU-MIMO Scheduling Details
Figure 69. Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Throughput Time Series - by UE and Total
Figure 70. Average Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Throughput for SU-MIMO and MU-MIMO - by Test Location 
Figure 71. Average Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Throughput - SU-MIMO Versus MU-MIMO 
Figure 72. Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Resource Block Allocations Time Series - by UE and Total 
Figure 73. Primary Cell 5G MIMO Layers Time Series - by UE 
Figure 74. Average Primary and Secondary Cell 5G MIMO Layers - by UE 
Figure 75. Primary Cell 5G MIMO Layers Time Series (Adj) - by UE57
Figure 76. Average Primary Cell 5G MIMO Layers (Adj) - by UE57
Figure 77. Primary Cell 5G PDSCH MCS Allocations Time Series - by UE and Average 
Figure 78. Average Primary Cell 5G MCS Allocations for SU-MIMO and MU-MIMO - by Test Location 
Figure 79. Average Connected 5G Devices Time Series 
Figure 80. Average RB Utilization and MIMO Layer Efficiency Time Series 
Figure 81. Average Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Throughput - by CPE (baseline results)
Figure 82. Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Throughput Time Series - by CPE and Total
Figure 83. Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Throughput Time Series - by CPE 
Figure 84. Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Average Throughput - SU-MIMO versus MU-MIMO 
Figure 85. Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Resource Block Allocations Time Series - by CPE and Total
Figure 86. Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Resource Block Allocations Time Series - by CPE 
Figure 87. Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Average Resource Block Allocations - by CPE and Total
Figure 88. Primary Cell 5G MIMO Layers Time Series - by CPE (Adjusted) and Total 
Figure 89. Primary Cell 5G SINR Values - Baseline Versus MU-MIMO 
Figure 90. Primary Cell 5G MCS Allocations - Baseline Versus MU-MIMO
Figure 91. Primary Cell 5G PDSCH Throughput - by CPE and Total 
Figure 92. Primary Cell 5G Resource Block Allocations - by CPE and Total 
Figure 93. Primary Cell 5G MCS Allocations Block Allocations - by CPE and Average 
Figure 94. Primary Cell 5G MIMO Layers - by CPE and Total 
Figure 95. Umetrix Data Platform 
Figure 96. XCAL5 in Action

Companies Mentioned

  • T-Mobile
  • Ericsson