All Things 5G NR mmWave

All Things 5G NR mmWave

An Update on 5G NR Millimeter Wave (mmWave) Network Performance and New Use Cases

01/26/2021 | 43 pages

Key highlights from our benchmark testing, which we cover in this whitepaper, include the following:

  • 5G NR mmWave smartphones which support 8×100 MHz channels achieved nearly twice the data speeds as a smartphone, which is limited to 4×100 MHz channels, in side-by-side testing. Data speeds well above 3 Gbps are readily obtained in a commercial network.


  • In addition to achieving higher data speeds, the 8CC feature is ideal for typical use cases, such as streaming video. We benchmarked the performance of 4K video streaming, including up to four individual 4K video streams to a single smartphone.  In addition to delivering higher video quality, there weren’t any video delivery impairments with substantial video impairments while using LTE as the radio bearer.


  • 5G NR smartphones with 2CC uplink capabilities achieved nearly twice the data speeds as smartphones which only supported a single 100 MHz uplink radio channel. Uplink data speeds well above 100 Mbps are readily achieved even though the 5G NR mmWave radio channel dedicates most of its bandwidth to the downlink direction.


  • We tested 5G NR mmWave FWA services at distances up to 5.1 kilometers, reaching nearly 2 Gbps at 1.7 kilometers, or nearly nine city blocks. The high-power CPE also delivered Gigabit-per-second speeds with near- and NLOS radio conditions in a commercial network, even when the CPE was pointed well off-angle from the serving cell site.  Uplink data speeds were frequently higher than 100 Mbps, or much higher than possible with most fixed broadband service plans.


  • In our enterprise testing of 5G NR mmWave, we observed Gigabit-per-second data speeds in hallways, a stairwell, and a conference room with the door closed. In many of these test locations, we couldn’t see the serving 5G NR mmWave radio, meaning NLOS conditions.  We attribute the results to mmWave reflections and the resiliency of mmWave signals which is much better than generally perceived.