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SRG Travels: It's a Small Cell World After All - AT&T's 5G Evolution

Published by Signals Research Group Product code 769375
Published Content info 47 Pages
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SRG Travels: It's a Small Cell World After All - AT&T's 5G Evolution
Published: October 26, 2017 Content info: 47 Pages
Description

In this Signals Ahead report we provide results from our independent and in-depth analysis of LTE small cells, specifically LTE-FDD small cells that have been deployed as part of AT&T's 5G Evolution in Indianapolis, Indiana. We also include an overall assessment of the network performance.

Highlights of the Report include the following:

  • Our 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.
  • Our Approach. We tested AT&T's “5G Evolution” in downtown Indianapolis - once in May (before small cells) and again in September (after small cells). We used geo binning of the data, filtered the results by EARFCN, separated the results between macro and small cell PCIs, and used RB normalization to provide the most meaningful analysis of the data.
  • The Small Cell Results. We identified material/substantial benefits in downlink and uplink performance, including all of the underlying performance metrics that influence user data speeds. We quantify these results and provide the relative impact on user data rates and spectral efficiency. We also analyzed the impact of interference.
  • The Macro Network Results. We've tested all the network features, going back to 1H/2015, but for completeness we include them in this study.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents

1.0. Executive Summary

2.0. Key Observations

3.0. Downtown Analysis

3.1. Downlink Analysis

3.2. Uplink Analysis

4.0. Small Cells

4.1. Downlink Analysis

4.2. Uplink Analysis

5.0. Test Methodology

6.0. Final Thoughts

7.0. Appendix

Index of Figures & Tables

  • Figure 1. Average Channel Bandwidth Allocations - May versus September
  • Figure 2. Distribution of Channel Bandwidth Allocations - May versus September
  • Figure 3. Geo Plot of Channel Bandwidth Allocations - May
  • Figure 4. Geo Plot of Channel Bandwidth Allocations - June
  • Figure 5. Distribution of Carrier Aggregation Usage
  • Figure 6. Geo Plot of Carrier Aggregation Usage - May
  • Figure 7. Geo Plot of Carrier Aggregation Usage - September
  • Figure 8. Median Downlink Data Rates - May versus September
  • Figure 9. Median Downlink Data Rate Probability Distribution Curves - May versus September
  • Figure 10. Implied Spectral Efficiency - May versus September
  • Figure 11. Median Downlink Data Rates with Geo Binning - May versus September
  • Figure 12. Average Channel Bandwidth with Geo Binning - May versus September
  • Figure 13. Implied Spectral Efficiency with Geo Binning - May versus September
  • Figure 14. Median SINR by Frequency Band - May versus September
  • Figure 15. Distribution of Modulation Scheme - May
  • Figure 16. Distribution of Modulation Scheme - September
  • Figure 17. Distribution of MIMO Rank Indicator Values - May
  • Figure 17. Distribution of MIMO Rank Indicator Values - May
  • Figure 19. Average Uplink Channel Bandwidth - May versus September
  • Figure 20. Uplink Frequency Allocation - May versus September
  • Figure 21. Uplink Average Data Rates - May versus September
  • Figure 22. Distribution of Uplink Average Data Rates - May versus September
  • Figure 23. Small Cell Near Lucas Stadium
  • Figure 24. Band 2 Cell PCI Geo Plot - May
  • Figure 25. Band 2 Cell PCI Geo Plot - September
  • Figure 26. RSRP and SINR for Area 1 - May versus September
  • Figure 27. Distribution of MIMO Rank - May versus September
  • Figure 28. Distribution of Modulation Scheme - May versus September
  • Figure 29. Physical Layer Data Rates and Implied Spectral Efficiency - May versus September
  • Figure 30. RSRP and SINR by PCI - May
  • Figure 31. RSRP and SINR by PCI - September
  • Figure 32. MIMO Rank by PCI - May
  • Figure 33. MIMO Rank by PCI - September
  • Figure 34. Distribution of Modulation Scheme by PCI - May
  • Figure 35. Distribution of Modulation Scheme by PCI - September
  • Figure 36. Physical Layer Data Rates by PCI - May
  • Figure 37. Physical Layer Data Rates by PCI - September
  • Figure 38. Implied Spectral Efficiency by PCI - May
  • Figure 39. Implied Spectral Efficiency by PCI - September
  • Figure 40. Interference Analysis by PCI
  • Figure 41. SINR Plot by Binned Area
  • Figure 42. RSRP and SINR - May versus September
  • Figure 43. Physical Layer Data Speeds, MIMO Rank, and Modulation Scheme Distributions -September
  • Figure 44. Downlink Path Loss - May versus September
  • Figure 45. PUSCH Transmit Power - May versus September
  • Figure 46. Geo Plot of PUSCH Transmit Power - May
  • Figure 47. Geo Plot of PUSCH Transmit Power - September
  • Figure 48 .Distribution of Uplink Modulation Schemes - May versus September
  • Figure 49. Median MCS Values - May versus September
  • Figure 50. Uplink Physical Layer Data Rates - May versus September
  • Figure 51. XCAL-Solo
  • Figure 52. RSRP and SINR by PCI - May
  • Figure 53. RSRP and SINR by PCI - September
  • Figure 54. MIMO Rank by PCI - May
  • Figure 55. MIMO Rank by PCI - September
  • Figure 56. Distribution of Modulation Scheme by PCI - May
  • Figure 57. Distribution of Modulation Scheme by PCI - September
  • Figure 58. Physical Layer Data Rates by PCI - May
  • Figure 59. Physical Layer Data Rates by PCI - September
  • Figure 60. Implied Spectral Efficiency by PCI - May
  • Figure 61. Implied Spectral Efficiency by PCI - September
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