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Market Research Report

5G: The Greatest Show on Earth - Volume 14, Pick Your Poison (5G Benchmark Study, with a Focus on Dynamic Spectrum Sharing [DSS])

Published by Signals Research Group Product code 977373
Published Content info 62 Pages
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5G: The Greatest Show on Earth - Volume 14, Pick Your Poison (5G Benchmark Study, with a Focus on Dynamic Spectrum Sharing [DSS])
Published: November 30, 2020 Content info: 62 Pages
Description

SRG just completed its fourteenth 5G benchmark study, this time with a focus on Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS), based on Verizon's networks in Minneapolis (CRS-RM) and Oklahoma City (MBSFN), as well as AT&T's network in Plano, Texas (CRS-RM).

Highlights of the Report include the following:

  • Our Thanks. We did this study in collaboration with Accuver Americas, Rohde & Schwarz, 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 tested with smartphones that supported 5G NR DSS as well as smartphones that we locked to LTE Band 5 - the same band the operators were using for DSS. We filtered data to those times when all smartphones were receiving data traffic and attached to the same PCI, plus we limited our analysis to the DSS band to eliminate the impact of other bands on the results. We did drive tests, stationary tests, and tests with LTE and 5G NR DSS smartphones in adjacent cells to evaluate the potential impact of interference.
  • Meaningful Inefficiencies Exist. With the CRS-RM implementation of DSS, we documented significant inefficiencies across all network geometries relative to LTE performance in the same band. With the MBSFN implementation of DSS, the inefficiencies are hidden in plain sight due to the dynamic mix of 5G NR and LTE traffic that will always occur in an operator's network. The inefficiencies hurt LTE and 5G NR performance.
  • More Art than Science. Smartphone behavior with low band technologies remains a problem. Getting a smartphone to use 5G NR versus a low band LTE channel isn't straight forward - if the smartphone camps on a low band LTE channel then it won't / can't use a low band 5G NR channel (DSS or otherwise).
  • Optional, yet Mandatory. Operators clearly favor the CRS-RM implementation but they aren't using any flavor of DSS if they don't need to use DSS. Further, just because a particular band has DSS today, doesn't mean it will have DSS tomorrow. Ultimately, unless an operator wants to commit a radio channel to LTE for the next decade, they will have to use DSS at some point. 5G NR carrier aggregation and SA (standalone) will accelerate the use of DSS and make the technology more interesting.
  • CBRS was a Bright Spot. Verizon has leveraged CBRS spectrum for LTE, and its impact on total throughput was significant, dwarfing the modest contribution from low band 5G NR. Yes, the smartphones support simultaneous use of CBRS and 5G NR - the former provides the bulk of the data speeds and the latter, along with the LTE anchor cell, provides the 5G icon.
  • Overselling Low Band 5G NR. Even in a perfect world, with no DSS inefficiencies, a low band 5G NR channel will perform no better than LTE for eMBB use cases, all things being equal. The same statement is true for a dedicated low band 5G NR radio channel. This reality hasn't prevented operators from hyping their low band 5G NR networks, which does a disservice to 5G and hurts consumers in the long run.
  • Sidebar Study. We used a R&S scanner to look at 5G NR coverage between T-Mobile (Band n71) and Verizon (Band n5) in Minneapolis and Oklahoma City. We observed big differences between the two operator's networks and between the two cities, not to mention between the online coverage maps and the coverage we observed. Good Coverage <> Quality Coverage
Table of Contents

Table of Contents

1.0 Executive Summary

2.0 Key Observations

3.0 DSS with CRS Rate Matching

  • 3.1 Greater Minneapolis Area - Verizon Wireless
    • 3.1.1 DSS Test 3-4
    • 3.1.2 DSS Test 25
    • 3.1.3 DSS Test 39
    • 3.1.4 DSS Test 15-16
    • 3.1.5 DSS Test 21
    • 3.1.6 DSS Test 34
  • 3.2 Greater Plano Area - AT&T

4.0 DSS with MBSFN

  • 4.1 DSS 200
  • 4.2 DSS 212
  • 4.3 DSS 210
  • 4.4 DSS 213

5.0 Test Methodology

6.0 Final Thoughts

7.0 Appendix

Index of Figures & Tables

  • Figure 1. 5G NR Band n5 RSRP - DSS Test 25
  • Figure 2. 5G NR Band n71 RSRP - DSS Test 25
  • Figure 3. Minneapolis Test Area
  • Figure 4. Drive Test Route - DSS Test 3-4
  • Figure 5. 5G NR DSS Band n5 versus LTE Band 5 RB Efficiency
  • Figure 6. 5G NR DSS Band n5 versus LTE Band 5 RB Normalized Throughput
  • Figure 7. Mobile Device Band/Technology Utilization
  • Figure 8. Mobile Device Aggregate Total Throughput and CBRS Contributions
  • Figure 9. Geo Plot of 5G NR and CBRS Utilization - Mobile Device 1 and Mobile Device 2
  • Figure 10. Mobile Device Throughput with 5G NR DSS and CBRS Active
  • Figure 11. Mobile Device 1 5G NR FR2 and CBRS Throughput Time Series
  • Figure 12. Mobile Device 2 5G NR DSS Band n5 and CBRS Throughput Time Series
  • Figure 13. 5G NR DSS Band n5 SINR
  • Figure 14. 5G NR Band n71 SINR
  • Figure 15. 5G NR DSS Band n5 versus LTE Band 5 RB Efficiency
  • Figure 16. Mobile Device 1 Technology and Band Utilization
  • Figure 17. Mobile Device 1 and Mobile Device 2 Technology and Band Utilization - geo plot
  • Figure 18. DSS Test 39 Drive Route
  • Figure 19. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Normalized Throughput Distribution
  • Figure 20. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Normalized Throughput
  • Figure 21. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RSRP Distribution
  • Figure 22. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Normalized Throughput and LTE RSRP Delta Time Series
  • Figure 23. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 MCS and RSRP Time Series
  • Figure 24. DSS Test 15-16 Drive Route
  • Figure 25. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Efficiency
  • Figure 26. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Efficiency versus LTE RSRP Time Series Plot
  • Figure 27. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 Throughput and RB Normalized Throughput Time Series Plot
  • Figure 28. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 Network Conditions
  • Figure 29. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Efficiency and Spectral Efficiency
  • Figure 30. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 Throughput Time Series Plot
  • Figure 31. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Normalized Throughput Time Series Plot
  • Figure 32. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Normalized Throughput
  • Figure 33. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Efficiency
  • Figure 34. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Efficiency versus RSRP
  • Figure 35. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RSRP Distribution
  • Figure 36. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 SINR Distribution
  • Figure 37. Oklahoma Test Area
  • Figure 38. 5G NR Band n5 RSRP
  • Figure 39. 5G NR Band n71 RSRP
  • Figure 40. 5G NR DSS Band n5 SINR
  • Figure 41. 5G NR DSS Band n71 SINR
  • Figure 42. RSRP versus SINR in Minneapolis and Oklahoma City
  • Figure 43. Spectral Efficiency Relative to LTE Band 5 (No DSS)
  • Figure 44. 5G NR DSS Band n5 SINR
  • Figure 45. 5G NR Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Efficiency
  • Figure 46. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Allocation Time Series Plot
  • Figure 47. 5G NR Band n5 DSS and LTE Band 5 PCI Map
  • Figure 48. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Efficiency
  • Figure 49. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Allocation Time Series Plot
  • Figure 50. Test 212 5G NR Radio Conditions
  • Figure 51. 5G NR Band n5 DSS RSRP
  • Figure 52. 5G NR DSS Band n5 SINR
  • Figure 53. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Efficiency
  • Figure 54. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE PCI Map
  • Figure 55. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Efficiency
  • Figure 56. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 RB Time Series Plot
  • Figure 57. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 Throughput versus 5G NR RSRP Time Series Plot
  • Figure 58. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 Throughput versus 5G NR SINR Time Series Plot
  • Figure 59. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 Throughput versus PDCP Combining Losses Time Series Plot
  • Figure 60. XCAL-M with Smartphone Diagnostics
  • Figure 61. XCAL-M with Scanner Information
  • Figure 62. TSME6 Scanner
  • Figure 63. TSMA6 Scanner Screenshot
  • Figure 64. Umetrix Data Architecture
  • Figure 65. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 MCS and SINR Time Series
  • Figure 66. 5G NR DSS Band n5 and LTE Band 5 MCS and RSRP Time Series
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