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5G: The Greatest Show on Earth - Volume 6, Unplugged (5G NR Benchmark Study, with Focus on Energy Efficiency)

Published by Signals Research Group Product code 910671
Published Content info 47 Pages
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5G: The Greatest Show on Earth - Volume 6, Unplugged (5G NR Benchmark Study, with Focus on Energy Efficiency)
Published: September 9, 2019 Content info: 47 Pages
Description

SRG just completed its sixth 5G NR benchmark study, this time with a focus on energy efficiency. For this study we used a Galaxy S10 smartphone in the Verizon Wireless 5G NR (millimeter wave) and LTE networks located in and around Minneapolis, MN.

Highlights of the Report include the following:

Our Thanks. We did this study in collaboration with Accuver Americas and Spirent Communications who provided us with their respective test equipment and platforms, which we identify in the report. SRG did all the testing and analysis of the data and we are solely responsible for the commentary in the report.

Our Methodology. We measured basic network parameters with XCAL-Solo and then separately measured real-time battery current while transmitting various bit rates (maximum possible, 30 Mbps and 5 Mbps) with the Umetrix data platform. We included two 5G NR radio conditions and multiple LTE radio conditions, including 2CCA and 3CCA configurations.

5G NR has better Energy Efficiency than LTE. Although 5G NR generates higher current drain than LTE, it can also be meaningfully more energy efficient than LTE when transmitting maximum possible bit rates. This finding is true, even with relatively modest 5G NR data speeds and LTE speeds that are substantially higher than most U.S. consumers observe, on average.

LTE has better Energy Efficiency than 5G NR. With low bit rate transfers, such as what would occur with web browsing and video chat applications, for example, LTE has better energy efficiency than 5G NR.

It Doesn't Matter. Ironically, the energy efficiencies and inefficiencies of 5G NR do not have a major impact on the battery life since other phone usage (backlight, VoLTE, etc.) can have a much bigger influence on the battery life. If anything, a faster data connection generally means the phone's display is turned off sooner.

A Day in the Life. Using real-world data and varying assumptions regarding daily mobile data usage, voice calls, and other phone-related activities, we calculate the expected battery life. Although it is theoretically possible to deplete a phone battery (4400 mAh) during a normal work day, it takes some extreme conditions and aggressive user behavior for it to occur.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

1.0 Executive Summary

2.0 Key Observations

3.0 5G NR and LTE Current Analysis Results

4.0 A Day in the Life

  • 4.1 Heavy User with 50/50 Split Between 5G NR and LTE
  • 4.2 Moderate Heavy User with 25/75 Split Between 5G NR and LTE
  • 4.3 Ultra Heavy User with 100/0 Split Between 5G NR and LTE
  • 4.4 Ultra Heavy User with 0/100 Split Between 5G NR and LTE
  • 4.5 Sensitivity Analysis
  • 4.5 Thermal Revisited

5.0 Test Methodology

6.0 Final Thoughts

7.0 Appendix

Index of Figures & Tables

  • Figure 1. Impacts of Varying Assumptions on the Remaining Battery Life
  • Figure 2. Current Drain in Airplane Mode and with Varying Backlight Luminance
  • Figure 3. Current Drain in Idle Mode and with Varying Backlight Luminance
  • Figure 4. 5G NR and LTE Maximum Throughput Versus Current Drain - multiple scenarios
  • Figure 5. Average 5G NR and LTE Maximum Throughput per Milliamp - multiple scenarios
  • Figure 6. Energy Effi ciency Relative to 5G NR with Maximum Throughput- multiple scenarios
  • Figure 7. 5G NR and LTE Data Download Capacity with 4400 mAh Battery - multiple scenarios
  • Figure 8. 5G NR and LTE Current Drain @ 5 Mbps - multiple scenarios
  • Figure 9. Energy Effi ciency Relative to 5G NR @ 5 Mbps - multiple scenarios
  • Figure 10. 5G NR and LTE Current Drain @ 30 Mbps - multiple scenarios
  • Figure 11. Energy Effi ciency Relative to 5G NR @ 30 Mbps - multiple scenarios
  • Figure 12. Energy Effi ciency Relative to LTE with Maximum Throughput in the Presence of 5G - multiple scenarios
  • Figure 13. Energy Effi ciency Relative to LTE @ 5 Mbps in the Presence of 5G - multiple scenarios
  • Figure 14. Energy Effi ciency Relative to LTE @ 30 Mbps in the Presence of 5G - multiple scenarios
  • Figure 15. LTE Current Drain @ 5 Mbps with and without 5G Present
  • Figure 16. LTE Current Drain with Maximum Uplink Throughput and Varying Backlight Luminance
  • Figure 17. Energy Effi ciency with LTE Uplink Transmissions - multiple scenarios
  • Table 1. Key Assumptions
  • Figure 18. Distribution of Battery Energy Budget - in mAh
  • Figure 19. Distribution of Battery Energy Budget - in hours
  • Table 2. Key Assumptions
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