Thursday 18 July 2019

5G SpeedTests and Theoretical Max Speeds Calculations

Right now, Speed Tests are being described as 5G killer apps.

A good point by Benedict Evans

Everyone is excited and want to see how fast 5G networks can go. If you use Twitter, you will notice loads and loads of speed tests being done on 5G. An example can be seen above.

I recently heard Phil Sheppard, Director of Strategy & Architecture, '3 UK' speak about their 5G launch that is coming up soon. Phil clearly mentioned that because they have a lot more spectrum (see Operator Watch blog post here and here) in Capacity Layer, their 5G network would be faster than the other UK operators. He also provided rough real world Peak Speeds for Three and other operators as can be seen above. Of course the real world speeds greatly depend on what else is going on in the network and in the cell so this is just a guideline rather than actual advertised speeds.

I have explained multiple times that all 5G networks being rolled out today are Non-Stand Alone (NSA) 5G networks. If you don't know what SA and NSA 5G networks are, check this out. As you can see, the 5G NSA networks are actually 4G Carrier Aggregated Networks + 5G Carrier Aggregated Networks. Not all 4G spectrum will be usable in 5G networks but let's assume it is.

To calculate the theoretical maximum speed of 5G NSA networks, we can calculate the theoretical maximum 4G Network speeds + theoretical maximum 5G Network speeds.

I have looked at theoretical calculation of max LTE Carrier Aggregated Speeds here. Won't do calculation here but assuming 3CA for any network is quite possible.

I also looked at theoretical calculation of 5G FDD New Radio here but then found a website that helps with 5G NR calculation here.

If we calculate just the 5G part, looking at the picture from Three, we can see that they list BT/EE & O2 speeds as 0.61 Gbps or 610 Mbps, just for the 5G part.

Looking at the calculation, if we Input Theoretical max values in this equation:

Calculating just for DL

J - number of aggregated component carriers,
maximum number (3GPP 38.802): 16
input value: 1

v(j)Layers - maximum number of MIMO layers ,
3GPP 38.802: maximum 8 in DL, maximum 4 in UL
input value: 8

Q(j)m modulation order (3GPP 38.804)
For UL and DL Q(j)m is same (QPSK-2, 16QAM-4, 64QAM-6, 256QAM-8)
input value: 8 (256QAM)

f(j) Scaling factor (3GPP 38.306)
input value: 1

FR(j) Frequency Range 3GPP 38.104:
FR1 (450 MHz – 6000 MHz) и FR2 (24250 MHz – 52600 MHz)
input value: FR1

µ(j) -value of carrier configuration (3GPP 38.211)
For DL and UL µ(j) is same (µ(0)=15kHz, µ(1)=30kHz, µ(2)=60kHz, µ(3)=120kHz)
input value: 0 (15kHz)

BW(j)- band Bandwidth, MHz (3GPP 38.104),
should be selected with Frequency Range and µ(i) configuration:
input value: BW:40MHz FR1 µ:15kHz:

Enter a PRB value (if other)
default: 0

Rmax (if you don't know what is it, don't change)
Value depends on the type of coding from 3GPP 38.212
(For LDPC code maximum number is 948/1024 = 0.92578125)
default: 0.92578125

*** Only for TDD ***
Part of the Slots allocated for DL in TDD mode,
where 1 = 100% of Slots (3GPP 38.213, taking into account Flexible slots).
Calculated as: the number of time Slots for DL divided by 14
default value: 0.857142

Part of the Slots allocated for UL in TDD mode,
where 1 = 100% of Slots (3GPP 38.213, taking into account Flexible slots).
Calculated as: 1 minus number of Slots for DL
default value: 0.14285800000000004

Calculated 5G NR Throughput, Mbps: 1584

As you may have noticed, BTE/EE has 40 MHz spectrum while Vodafone in UK have 50 MHz of spectrum.

BW(j)- band Bandwidth, MHz (3GPP 38.104),
should be selected with Frequency Range and µ(i) configuration:
input value: BW:50MHz FR1 µ:15kHz:

Calculated 5G NR Throughput, Mbps: 1982

Now Three UK has 100 MHz, immediately available for use. So changing

µ(j) -value of carrier configuration (3GPP 38.211)
For DL and UL µ(j) is same (µ(0)=15kHz, µ(1)=30kHz, µ(2)=60kHz, µ(3)=120kHz)
input value: 1 (30kHz)

BW(j)- band Bandwidth, MHz (3GPP 38.104),
should be selected with Frequency Range and µ(i) configuration:
BW:100MHz FR1 µ:30kHz:

Calculated 5G NR Throughput, Mbps: 4006

In theory, a lot of speed is possible with the 100 MHz bandwidth that Three will be able to use. We will have to wait and see who can do a theoretical max SpeedTest. In the meantime remember that a 1Gbps speed test will use over 1 GB of data.

Related Posts:

Friday 12 July 2019

5G and Electromagnetic energy (EME)

Every time a new generation of mobile technology is being rolled out, there are scare stories about the radiation, cancer, etc. I last wrote a post on this topic back in 2011 and also in 2009. The main thing that has changed since is that 5G is being rolled out today as 4G was being rolled out then.

The Australian operator Telstra recently completed extensive testing of their 5G network infrastructure in real-world settings using commercially available 5G devices, and their data confirms two things. Firstly, the 5G technology produces electromagnetic energy (EME) levels at around 1000 times below the safety limits in many cases. Secondly, all the testing has found 5G EME levels to be similar to 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi. You can read the details and complete report here.

Last month I went to a seminar titled 'Update on Current Knowledge of RF Safety', organised by CW Radio Technology Group and National Register of RF Workers. Richard Hargrave from BT explained the challenge with compliance when a 5G carrier is added.

The implications as he said are:
  • Some sites in urban areas become increasingly difficult to provide required capacity while maintaining compliance using standard designs
  • Significant time and cost can be associated with works necessary to ensure compliance – new planning permissions, physical structures, new site acquisition etc
  • As 5G is deployed further, particularly as additional spectrum is auctioned in 700MHz and 3.6-3.8GHz bands these problems will be exacerbated

His presentation is available here. Another presentation from Moray Rumney, asking some tough question on 5G safety is available here. Simon Rockman has written a summary of this seminar on Forbes, here.

I heard the Swiss operator Sunrise mentioning in a presentation at 5G World 2019 that the EMF limit in Switzerland is 10 times stricter than the rest of the world. This implies that 5G in Switzerland is extremely safe. The slide from the presentation can be seen in the pic above.

We also have couple of related videos on this topic, maybe of interest:

Further Reading:

Tuesday 9 July 2019

3GPP 5G Standardization Update post RAN#84 (July 2019)

3GPP recently conducted a webinar with Balazs Bertenyi, Chairman of 3GPP RAN in which he goes through some of the key features for 5G Phase 2. The webinar also goes through the details of 5G Release-15 completion, status of Release-16 and a preview of some of Release-17 features.

Slides & video embedded below. Slides can be downloaded from 3GPP website here.

Related Posts:

Saturday 6 July 2019

Saturday 29 June 2019

Presentations from ETSI Security Week 2019 (#ETSISecurityWeek)

ETSI held their annual Security Week Seminar 17-21 June at their HQ in Sophia Antipolis, France. All the presentations are available here. Here are some I think the audience of this blog will like:

Looks like all presentations were not shared but the ones shared have lots of useful information.

Related Posts:

Sunday 23 June 2019

Finland: A country with only Unlimited Data Plans

I was listening to Elisa couple of weeks back, at 5G World Summit. One of the things that surprised me was that Elisa offered unlimited data plans but the price varied based on the maximum speeds possible. The same approach was going to continue with 5G. When 5G data speeds would improve, new packages will be added with the improved speeds.

Tefficient has pointed out multiple times that even though all operators in Finland offer unlimited data plans, their ARPU has increased in 2018. This is in contrast to the other mature markets, even though they may not be offering unlimited data plans.

Same thing was pointed out by Rewheel research that highlighted in their May 2019 report that, "Finnish operators that executed ‘unlimited everything’ strategies were the undisputed champions of the 4G era"

A mashable article pointed out that "5G will be crazy fast, but it'll be worthless without unlimited data". This is very true.

Mobile operators should start thinking about how they can offer unlimited data plans, especially if they keep touting applications that are going to use loads of data. As you can see from the tweet above, a 1 hour 8K video streaming would roughly use between 7 - 10 GB of data.

Let me know your thoughts.

Tuesday 18 June 2019

3GPP Release-16, Release-17 & Beyond...

6G Summit featured quite a few talks from people looking at evolution beyond Release-16. The future releases will still be 5G, maybe become 5.5G, like 3GPP Release-13 which was known as LTE-Advanced Pro officially was unofficially known as 4.5G.

Back at the 6G Summit in Finland, Dr. Peiying Zhu from Huawei looked at the topics being discussed for Release-17 and beyond.

Thanks to Mika Klemettinen for sharing the pictures on Twitter, as the presentation was not shared.

3GPP is working towards defining Release-16. TS 21.916 - Release description; Release 16 is still not yet available on the 3GPP reflector. Once that is available, we will know for sure about all the Rel-16 changes. Release-17 is long way away. Having said that, there is no shortage of discussions as some of these Rel-17 features were discussed in the recent RAN Plenary.
Jungwon Lee, VP, Samsung also shared a summary of 3GPP Release-16 and Rel-17 features at IEEE 5G Summit in San Diego recently. Quite a few interesting features in all the pictures above that we will no doubt look at in the future posts.

3GPP also shared a presentation recently (embedded below), looking at not only Release-15 & 16 but also looking at focus areas for Release-17

Related Posts and Articles:
  • The 3G4G Blog - Ultra Reliability: 5x9s (99.999%) in 3GPP Release-15 vs 6x9s (99.9999%) in 3GPP Release-16
  • The 3G4G Blog - Update from 3GPP on LTE & 5G Mission Critical Communications
  • 3GPP - Release 16
  • Light Reading - 5G Standards Group Struggles to Balance Tech With Politics
  • Eiko Seidel - 5G Mission Critical Networks (Proximity Services in Rel.17)
  • The 3G4G Blog - Slides and Videos from the 1st 6G Wireless Summit - March 2019
  • The 3G4G Blog - Couple of talks by NTT Docomo on 5G and Beyond (pre-6G)
  • The 3G4G Blog - China Telecom: An examination of the current industrial trends and an outlook of 6G
  • Mission Critical Communications: Mission-Critical Features for Release 17 Discussed at Latest 3GPP Meetings

Wednesday 5 June 2019

New Tutorial on 5G Spectrum

We made a new tutorial on 5G spectrum. It's in 2 different formats. Short version (~13 mins) or Long version (~31 mins). Instead of embedding the slides/videos here, I am providing links to the 5G section on 3G4G page below.

Short Version (~13 mins) - click here

Long Version (~31 mins) - click here

Related posts:

Sunday 2 June 2019

Couple of talks by NTT Docomo on 5G and Beyond (pre-6G)

The Japanese operator, NTT Docomo is a very bold MNO. Not only do they do interesting research but they are very open about what they have been doing and share it publicly. For example, last month they announced development of a safe, blade-free drone propelled by Ultrasonic Vibrations (tweet). This was just amazing as it has a potential to use drones in many new areas where the conventional drones are deemed too dangerous. This is why I was very pleased to see couple of talks by Docomo available online.

The first one is by Takehiro Nakamura, SVP and General Manager of the 5G Laboratories in NTT DOCOMO, Inc. at the 6G Summit in Finland. Slides available here. Video embedded below

The next one is by Seizo Onoe, Chief Technology Architect, NTT DOCOMO, INC. and President, DOCOMO Technology, Inc. from Brooklyn 5G Summit. Unfortunately the slides are not shared but the video is worth a watch below.

Related Posts: