Elisa 5G NR network Benchmark Study 2023: Deployment in Band n78 (3.6 GHz) Based on Two Asus Snapdragon Insiders Smartphones with the Qualcomm 888 Processor (X60 modem)


Dublin, April 19, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The "5G NR Benchmark Study Vol 20: Band n78 (3.6 GHz)" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.

The publisher just completed its 20th 5G NR benchmark study. For this endeavor they ventured across the pond for the first time in nearly two years to conduct a performance analysis of the Elisa 5G NR network, which the operator has deployed in Band n78 (3.6 GHz). The LTE network is comprised of three bands (B1, B3 and B7), equating to 60 MHz of FDD spectrum although in some areas B20 (2x10 MHz) was observed instead of B1.

Interestingly, the operator also has an experimental 5G NR mmWave network with several sites deployed in the downtown area. Depending on the area tested, Huawei or Nokia provided the infrastructure, although the publisher believes Nokia was the only provider of mmWave radios.

For this study the publisher leveraged two Asus Snapdragon Insiders smartphones with the Qualcomm 888 processor (X60 modem). Depending on the test scenario the publisher used one or both smartphones while walking or driving around Helsinki and the surrounding area. With the two phone test scenarios, the publisher used the phone's menu to lock one phone to LTE to obtain comparative results with the 5G NR-enabled smartphone. Our tests included downlink and uplink performance to provide the most complete picture of how 5G NR performed in the mid-band spectrum.

In the downlink tests, the 5G NR Bn78 performance was stellar, driven in large part by the unexpectedly high utilization of MIMO Rank 4 as well as 256QAM modulation. Even outside of urban Helsinki in drive tests that went into relatively rural areas where the operator was still building out its 5G NR network, the performance was quite strong. For comparison purposes, the average LTE spectral efficiency was in the mid-range between 5 and 6 bps/Hz, with 5G NR spectral efficiency much higher. In the uplink tests, it was a similar scenario with 5G NR coming out on top, largely influenced by the 5G NR smartphone leveraging UL-256QAM while the LTE smartphone remained on UL-64QAM.

Bn78 coverage is a relatively hot topic, so time was taken to analyze coverage-related metrics, both relative to LTE and to 5G NR Bn41 (results from earlier testing in the US were used for this analysis). The conclusion, which is backed up with ample data, is that an operator deploying Bn78 on its existing LTE cell grid will not have any meaningful coverage gaps in their coverage, especially when 5G NR is deployed in areas where operators are targeting the use of mid-band spectrum.

The uplink is always the limiting factor, and while the higher spectrum had a greater impact on performance than the lower band LTE frequencies the delta was lower than expected. Bn78 and Bn41 coverage was also comparable, especially based on downlink metrics, while differences between the two bands can be somewhat managed with vendor settings in their gNB.

Highlights of the Report include the following:

  • In the drive test the 5G NR smartphone's throughput, including some contribution from LTE, was more than 4x higher than the LTE phone. The publisher documented that the 5G NR spectral efficiency (bps/Hz) was 1.7x higher than LTE during the drive test. The 5G NR spectral efficiency was even higher in downtown walk tests.
  • MIMO Rank 4 and 256QAM had a big influence on throughput. The maximum downlink throughput was nearly 1.4 Gbps, based on one-second time binning of the data.
  • 5G NR network coverage in Helsinki was very comparable with LTE, based on a detailed analysis of RSRP and distances to the serving cell site.
  • The publisher also leveraged earlier results from testing Bn41 to compare downlink and uplink coverage with Bn78. Surprising results and although Bn41 had an advantage with uplink coverage, performance differences can be influenced by vendor settings in the gNB.

Key Topics Covered:

1.0 Executive Summary

2.0 Key Observations

3.0 Downlink Performance Results and Analysis
3.1 An Early Morning Walk Around Downtown Helsinki
3.2 Drive Test with 5G NR and LTE Operating in Parallel
3.3 Drive Test with 5G NR Only

4.0 Uplink Performance Results and Analysis
4.1 Drive Test with 5G NR and LTE Operating in Parallel
4.2 Walk Test Around Downtown Helsinki

5.0 Test Methodology

6.0 Final Thoughts

Companies Mentioned

  • Asus
  • Huawei
  • Nokia

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/tp9kqw

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