Vol 25: Hold 'em or Fold 'em

06/22/2022 | 58 pages
Price: $1,200.00

SRG just completed its 25th 5G NR benchmark study.  For this endeavor we collaborated with Accuver Americas, Rohde & Schwarz, and Spirent Communications to conduct an independent benchmark study of the DISH Wireless 5G Open RAN network in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Highlights of the Report include the following

Our Methodology.  Testing took place over a two-day period in late May.  We leveraged up to two Motorola Edge+ smartphones on the DISH network and up to two Galaxy S20 smartphones on the T-Mobile network (primarily n71 for comparison purposes). We tested full buffer downlink/uplink/simultaneous transfers with HTTP and UDP while stationary and mobile.  We also tested voice services, specifically VoNR on DISH and VoLTE on T-Mobile.  We also did latency / jitter stress tests using a low bit rate UDP data transfer to the Umetrix Data server,

Degree of Difficulty.  Prior to sharing a summary of the results, we note the high degree of difficulty – entirely new network, 5G SA with carrier aggregation, VoNR, and the use of AWS.  However, consumers don’t know / don’t care about the network architecture.  They only want to have a good and consistent user experience.

Consistently Inconsistent.  End user data speeds could be well within expectations, excluding HTTP uplink which meaningfully lagged expectations.  However, the seemingly on-again / off-again use of carrier aggregation was problematic, as was RF coverage, which is mentioned in the next bullet.  Voice services (VoNR) could deliver very high voice quality with MOS well above 4.0, only to be followed by very poor voice quality, to the point of being unintelligible (below 2.0 or no MOS score achieved).

RF Coverage was Suboptimal.  We documented a significant difference in Band n71 coverage (RSRP) and quality (SINR) between the DISH and T-Mobile networks, and largely due to a significant difference in the number of unique cells (PCI counts).  More often than not, a drive test resulted in the phone on the DISH network reverting to the AT&T network.

Opportunities Abound.  DISH needs to improve and optimize network coverage, AWS may need to focus on reducing the very long latency tail and VoNR consistency, and the Open RAN vendors should continue working on improving VoNR and scheduling efficiency.  The 5G clock is ticking.