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Market Research Report

5G: The Greatest Show on Earth - Volume 10, Timing is Everything (5G Benchmark Study, with a Focus on T-Mobile's 5G NR Network)

Published by Signals Research Group Product code 932342
Published Content info 54 Pages
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5G: The Greatest Show on Earth - Volume 10, Timing is Everything (5G Benchmark Study, with a Focus on T-Mobile's 5G NR Network)
Published: April 16, 2020 Content info: 54 Pages
Description

This report focuses on T-Mobile's 5G NR network. In the market where we tested, T-Mobile is using a 10 MHz FDD carrier for 5G NR and an additional 5 MHz FDD carrier for LTE. We did the testing in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota in March.

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 did drive testing over two separate weeks in March. We tested concurrently with the OnePlus McLaren and Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus. The McLaren supported new features which T-Mobile recently introduced into its network, thereby allowing us to evaluate the incremental performance benefits.
  • Vendor Interoperability Issues Exist. We quickly discovered performance-related issues that we later attributed to interoperability issues between the chipset and the infrastructure. These issues, which stem from recently introduced software/firmware, made testing difficult, but we were able to make necessary adjustments in the analysis process. We understand a potential fix is in the works.
  • Concurrent 5G NR and LTE at 600 MHz. The McLaren smartphone supported simultaneous use of LTE and 5G NR in 600 MHz, thereby making better use of the operator's spectrum resources and allowing SRG to make a direct comparison of LTE and 5G NR spectral efficiency. Limited use of this feature in the network, due to certain underlying requirements, diluted the overall benefits of this feature.
  • Enhanced Mobility. The McLaren smartphone supported enhanced mobility (e.g., handovers between 5G NR cells, or PCIs). The feature reduced the handover time by an impressive 95%, but once again certain underlying requirements diluted the overall benefits of this feature. We discuss.
  • Comparisons and Contrasts. With two smartphones and unlimited data usage at our disposal, we were able to characterize the performance differences between the two smartphones for both mid-band LTE and 5G NR. We also looked at 5G NR and mid-band LTE spectral efficiency, as well as the incremental benefits due to 256 QAM and higher MIMO rank. Don't assume 5G NR comes out on top.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • User Plane Integrity Protection
  • Are you PC?
  • Being PC with FWA
  • IAB Nodes - The Equivalent of Patting Your Head and Rubbing Your Stomach
  • When a 5G NR UE becomes Transient
  • Final Thoughts

Index of Figures & Tables

  • Figure 1. 5G NR Band n71 and LTE Band 71
  • Figure 2. 5G NR and LTE Cell Sites
  • Figure 3. EN-DC Throughput Time Series @ SRG HQ - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 4. 5G NR and LTE Throughput Time Series - Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 5. 5G NR and LTE Throughput Time Series - McLaren
  • Figure 6. Local Drive Route with 5G NR PCIs
  • Figure 7. 5G NR and LTE PCI Values and RB Allocations - McLaren
  • Figure 8. PDCP Downlink Packet Loss Rate and SCG Synch Errors - McLaren
  • Figure 9. 5G NR and LTE RSRP Reports - McLaren
  • Figure 10. 5G NR PCI and RB Allocations - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 11. LTE and 5G NR PCI and RB Allocations - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 12. EN-DC Throughput Time Series @ Starbucks - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 13. Median Throughput - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 14. Full Drive Route with 5G NR Availability
  • Figure 15. 5G Icon Activation versus 5G Usage - McLaren
  • Figure 16. Distribution and Summary of 5G NR Throughput and RB Normalized Throughput (FILTERED BOTH PHONES CONNECTED TO A 5G NR PCI) - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 17. Distribution and Summary of 5G NR Throughput, RB Normalized Throughput, and RB Allocations (FILTERED FOR EACH PHONE'S 5G ACTIVITY) - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 18. Distribution and Summary of 5G NR Throughput and RB Normalized Throughput (FILTERED 5G DATA with > 5 RBs) - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 19. LTE Anchor and 5G NR PCI Matches
  • Figure 20. Implied 5G NR Spectral Efficiency (FILTERED 5G DATA with Common 5G PCI) - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 21. Implied 5G NR Spectral Efficiency (ALL 5G DATA) - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 22. McLaren 5G NR Band n71 and LTE Band 71 Concurrent Usage
  • Figure 23. Distribution of Throughput and RB Allocations with Matching PCI Values - McLaren and Note Plus
  • Figure 24. Enhanced Mobility Test Areas
  • Figure 25. Handover Test Area #2 - McLaren (LTE Anchor = Band 2)
  • Figure 26. Handover Test Area #2 - Note 10 Plus (LTE Anchor = Band 66)
  • Figure 27. Handover Test Area #2 RRC LTE/NSA Connections and Handovers - McLaren
  • Figure 28. RRC Connection / Handover Times - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 29. 5G NR Handover Success Rate - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 30. RB Normalized Throughput versus MIMO Rank for Band 2 and Band 66 - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 31. Spectral Efficiency versus MIMO Rank for Band 2 and Band 66 - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 32. Weighted Average Spectral Efficiency versus MIMO Rank for Band 2 and Band 66 - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 33. 4x4 MIMO Rank Impact on Spectral Efficiency for Band 2 and Band 66 - McLaren and Note 10 Plus.
  • Figure 34. 256 QAM Utilization versus MIMO Rank for Band 2 and Band 66 - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 35. Median CQI versus MIMO Rank for Band 2 and Band 66 - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 36. MIMO Rank versus Median CQI for Band 2 and Band 66 - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 37. Distribution of CQI Band 2 and Band 66 - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 38. Median CQI versus 256 QAM Utilization for Band 2 and Band 66 - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 39. RB Normalized Throughput versus CQI for Band 2 and Band 66 - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 40. RB Normalized Throughput and 256 QAM Utilization Distribution versus CQI for Band 2 and Band 66 - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 41. RB Normalized Throughput and MIMO Rank Distribution versus CQI for Band 2 and Band 66 - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 42. RB Normalized Throughput and MIMO Rank Distribution versus CQI for Band 2 and Band 66 - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 43. 256-QAM Utilization Rate versus CQI with Varying MIMO Rank for Band 2 and Band 66 - McLaren, Note 10 Plus, and Galaxy S7
  • Figure 44. RB Normalized Throughput versus CQI with Varying MIMO Rank for Band 2 and Band 66 - McLaren, Note 10 Plus, and Galaxy S7
  • Figure 45. XCAL-M in Action
  • Figure 46. Umetrix Data Architecture
  • Figure 47. Handover Test Area #1 - McLaren
  • Figure 48. Handover Test Area #3 - McLaren
  • Figure 49. Median SINR versus MIMO Rank for Band 2 and Band 66 - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 50. RB Normalized Throughput and 256 QAM Utilization Distribution versus SINR for Band 2 and Band 66 - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
  • Figure 51. RB Normalized Throughput and MIMO Rank Distribution versus SINR for Band 2 and Band 66 - McLaren and Note 10 Plus
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