Vol 22: Happy Ending

02/07/2022 | 54 pages
Price: $1,725.00

SRG just completed its 22nd 5G NR benchmark study. For this endeavor we conducted a benchmark study of the Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband network (60 MHz @ Bn77) in the Twin Cities Metro area where Ericsson is the infrastructure supplier.

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 used a recently-purchased Galaxy S21 FE smartphone with a Verizon test SIM to collect downlink/uplink performance data while driving ~500 kilometers and consuming 1.48 TB of data. We analyzed chipset diagnostic messages using time and area binning (5×5 meter grids) to provide the most meaningful results and analysis.

That was then, this is now.  Although 5G Nationwide (Bn5) performance and coverage was a disappointment, Bn77 was not. Coverage greatly exceeded what we observed with Bn5 back in Oct 2020 while average throughput was 15-20x higher. Bn77 spectral efficiency was also much higher than all LTE bands and Bn5.

FDD-TDD CA and UL-256QAM is alive and well.  The Verizon network supported both features which we believe are critical for a successful mid-band 5G NR deployment. Greater use of FDD-TDD CA and device support for UL-256QAM are important success factors.

Bn77 vs Bn41 Coverage.  Although the area covered by Bn41 was modestly larger than it was for Bn77, the Bn77 uplink coverage and performance (average throughput, spectral efficiency) was better than Bn41. Data suggests a one-for-one overlay of Bn77 on the existing LTE cell grid with no obvious detrimental impact on overall performance (e.g., performance at cell handover, etc.).

Fixed Wireless Access is in the works.  Bn77 capacity in rural areas, including in areas where another broadband option doesn’t exist, greatly exceeds what is needed for eMBB. Our analysis of throughput versus distance to the serving cell site also revealed rural coverage at 3.7 GHz won’t be a limiting factor. mmWave would make a great complementary solution.