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August 13, 2014

Dispatches from the frontier of wireless research

EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!!
Our initial thoughts on SK Telecoms
LTE-A 225 Mbps network
www.signalsresearch.com

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Over a four day period in early August we conducted a benchmark study of SK Telecoms LTE-Advanced (LTE-A)
network. We used a Samsung Galaxy S5 Category 6 (225 Mbps) smartphone as well as a Galaxy S5 Category
4 (150 Mbps) smartphone. We logged all network performance data presented in this Signals Flash! with the
Accuver XCAL-Solo or the XCAL-Mobile data collection tool, which provided us with the flexibility to test with
the phone literally in the palm of our hand while also providing us with the same features and functionality of
the companys PC-based XCAL solution which we have historically used in the past.
In late August or early September we will be providing detailed analysis of the network performance, including
SK Telecoms Btv Mobile IPTV service (SD, HD, FHD and UHD video content) that the operator offers over its LTE
network. This pending report is included as part of a Signals Ahead subscription, although the report will also be
available for individual purchase. In the interim, we would like to share our initial thoughts.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS
We

transferred more than 450 GB of data on the LTE-A network, including more than 35 GB using Btv Mobile.
With a standard 2 GB plan this amount of data consumption translates into 18.75 years of data usage.

We

tested outdoors while driving more than 175 miles around Seoul. We also tested in subway stations, on
the subway between stations, in our hotel lobby, and while walking around the heavily congested areas of the
Namdaemun Market and Gangnam Station.

The median Physical Layer downlink data rate was a staggering 98.9 Mbps and we achieved a top speed of 221.11

Mbps (one second averaging). The data rate was higher than 150 Mbps for 19% of the time and it was less than
25 Mbps for only 4% of the time.
The

median Physical Layer uplink data rate was 23.1 Mbps (10 MHz channels) and we achieved a top speed of
25.1 Mbps (one second averaging). The data rate was higher than 20 Mbps for 88.7% of the time. Due to how
the licenses have been awarded in South Korea, SK Telecom only has a 10 MHz uplink channel that is paired
with its Band 3 allocation that has a 20 MHz downlink. There is an additional 10 MHz uplink channel in Band 5.
With uplink carrier aggregation it will eventually be possible to support a logically combined 20 MHz channel.

The

latency (RTT) measured to an external server was consistently within a range of 20-25 ms.

In the Test Methodology section we discuss what we have in store for our forthcoming report which we are
targeting for late August or early September.

2 | Signals Flash August 13, 2014

PART 1 NOW AVAILABLE!

BEHIND THE VoLTE CURTAIN

NETWORK AND LAB-BASED BENCHMARK TEST RESULTS


PART OF THE MOTHER OF ALL NETWORK BENCHMARK TESTS SERIES OF REPORTS

BEHIND THE VoLTE CURTAIN PART ONE


Network benchmark test results:
$1,495 pre-order/$1,750 post production
BEHIND THE VoLTE CURTAIN PART TWO
Lab-based benchmark test results:
$1,295 pre-order/$1,500 post production
BOTH REPORTS: $2,500 pre-order

CONTACT INFORMATION
You may call us at +1 (510) 273-2439 or email us at information@
signalsresearch.com and we will contact you for your billing
information or respond to any further inquiries that you may have.
Subscription information for our Signals Ahead research product,
which includes these reports, can be found on the last page of this
report. You can also visit our website at www.signalsresearch.com
or write us at
Signals Research Group

Both reports included with an annual subscription


to Flash August
3 | Signals
13, 2014Court
10 Ormindale
Signals Ahead
Oakland, CA 94611

Unlike our more in-depth Signals Ahead research reports, there are not any restrictions associated with the redistribution of this document. Recipients of Signals Flash! may share this
document both internally within their organization and externally with reckless abandon. In
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If you are not a subscriber to Signals Ahead and you would like to receive these complimentary
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We approached SK Telecom earlier in the year and requested the opportunity to conduct an
independent analysis of the operators LTE-A 225 Mbps network after they launched it. We
followed up again after SK Telecom launched the network and they accepted our request. SK
Telecom loaned us two smartphones with unlimited data plans and they provided us with access
to a high-bandwidth FTP server that we could use for our tests. We had full autonomy when it
came to testing the network, including what, when, where, and how we tested it. This was an
entirely self-funded independent study that we intend to leverage for a forthcoming Signals
Ahead report that will be made available to our Signals Ahead subscribers. The information
presented in this report is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how we plan to leverage
the network performance data that we collected during our stay.

This was an entirely selffunded independent study.

Over a four day period in early August we conducted a benchmark study of SK Telecoms
LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network. Samsung Networks is the infrastructure supplier in the Seoul
market. We used a Samsung Galaxy S5 Category 6 (225 Mbps) smartphone as well as a Galaxy S5
Category 4 (150 Mbps) smartphone. The Cat 4 smartphone supported Carrier Aggregation, but
since the 10 MHz + 20 MHz network configuration is seemingly everywhere in Seoul the phone
defaults to the single 20 MHz channel in Band 3. The Cat 6 phone was powered by the Qualcomm
SnapdragonTM 805 processor and the GobiTM 9x35 LTE modem (discrete A/P + modem). The Cat
4 phone was powered by the Qualcomm SnapdragonTM 801 processor with an integrated LTE
modem.
We didnt spend our whole weekend testing the network and we had plenty of time to hit the
hotel gym a few times, finish up our VoLTE report, do some shopping, hang out in Gangnam,
and partake in what can only be described as Death by Korean Barbecue. Nonetheless, we
consumed more than 450 GB of data well have an exact tally on the amount of data consumed
once we finish analyzing the data.
We logged all network performance data with the Accuver XCAL-Solo or XCAL-Mobile data
collection tools, which provided us with the flexibility to test with the phone literally in the
palm of our hand while also providing us with the same features and functionality of Accuvers
PC-based XCAL solution which we have historically used in the past. We also used the Spirent
Quantum Battery Life Measurement System to measure the power consumption, current drain
and estimated battery life of the two smartphones for a number of different scenarios, including
streaming SD, HD and UHD video content with SK Telecoms Btv Mobile IPTV service that runs

4 | Signals Flash August 13, 2014

We logged all network


performance data with the
Accuver XCAL-Solo or XCALMobile data collection tools

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5 | Signals Flash August 13, 2014

over the LTE network. We will publish the results and analysis from this portion of our testing in
the forthcoming Signals Ahead report. We also used Quantum in our recent VoLTE benchmark
study that we released last week.
In the Test Methodology section of this Signals Flash we describe how we collected the data,
the types of tests that we conducted, and how we plan to analyze the data in our forthcoming
Signals Ahead report.

EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!!!
Emmet Brickowoski had his over-priced coffee, Taco Tuesday, and the widely-popular Where
Are My Pants TV show. But if Emmet had his druthers, were sure he would have traded it all for
a mobile broadband network that rivals the fastest broadband wireline networks in the world.
He could have even traveled 195 kilometers north of Seoul and met up with a ruler whose size
and stature is remarkably comparable to the seemingly innocuous President/Lord Business who
would put you to sleep if you didnt take extra care to follow the instructions.
Generally, we are a bit careful when it comes to throwing out hyperbole, but when you are traveling in a subway train with standing room only and sustaining data rates well above 150 Mbps to a
smartphone that you are holding in your hand it is hard to do otherwise. Our normal experience
is riding a BART train in the San Francisco Bay area where in several places you cant buy a single
bar of 2G voice or 3G data coverage, let alone LTE coverage, if your life depended on it.
Figure 1 provides an overview of the downlink throughput at the Physical Layer. The unofficial
median throughput based on downloading 393.1 GB of data 16.4 years of usage based on a
standard 2 GB monthly plan was an impressive 98.9 Mbps and the peak data rate was 222.11
Mbps. The throughput also exceeded 150 Mbps for 19% of the time. We obtained the peak speed
during an early morning test, but we observed speeds well above 200 Mbps during the tests
that we conducted on Friday afternoon in and around the Gangnam district. For now, we have
only analyzed the throughput in one second time increments. Once we analyze the data in one
millisecond sub-frame time intervals, we are confident that the throughput will be higher and
that the incremental benefits of the Cat 6 device will be even more evident.

The unofficial median


Physical Layer downlink
throughput was an impressive
98.9 Mbps and the peak data
rate was 222.11 Mbps.

We are characterizing all results presented in this report as unofficial results because the results
may contain instances when the FTP transfer wasnt occurring or when an FTP transfer was just
starting or stopping, meaning that the TCP slow start-up was artificially limiting the speed. When
we filter out all of these instances in the coming weeks we suspect that the median throughput
will slightly exceed 100 Mbps. Put another way, it is likely that the absurdly low 4% of the results
which were below 25 Mbps will drop to an even lower percentage.

It is likely that the absurdly


low 4% of the results which
were below 25 Mbps will drop
to an even lower percentage.

6 | Signals Flash August 13, 2014

COMING SOON!

PART OF THE MOTHER OF ALL NETWORK BENCHMARK TESTS SERIES OF REPORTS


BEHIND THE VoLTE CURTAIN PART ONE
Network benchmark test results:
$1,450 pre-order/
$1,600 post production
Full report included with an annual subscription to
Signals Ahead

CONTACT INFORMATION
You may call us at +1 (510) 273-2439 or email us at information@
signalsresearch.com and we will contact you for your billing
information or respond to any further inquiries that you may have.
Subscription information for our Signals Ahead research product,
which includes these reports, can be found on the last page of this
report. You can also visit our website at www.signalsresearch.com
or write us at

Signals Research Group


10 Ormindale Court
7 | Signals Flash August
13, CA
2014
Oakland,
94611

Figure 1. Primary Carrier + Secondary Carrier = LTE-Advanced


Primary Carrier Throughput
Band 3 (20 MHz)/Band 5 (10 MHz)

Secondary Carrier Throughput


Band 3 (20 MHz)/Band 5 (10 MHz)

Total LTE-Advanced Throughput


Band 3 (20 MHz) + Band 5 (10 MHz)
98.9 Mbps

49.5 Mbps

47.5 Mbps

> 200 Mbps 2.1%


>125 Mbps 2.4%
<10
100-125 Mbps
Mbps 4.6%
75-100 7.2%
10-25 Mbps
Mbps
17.7%
8.8%

50-75 Mbps
24.5%

175-200
Mbps
6.8%

>125 Mbps 3.6%

25-50 Mbps
34.9%

100-125
Mbps
7.5%
75-100 Mbps
9.5%

<10 Mbps
8.4%
10-25 Mbps
18.0%

150-175 Mbps
10.1%

< 25
Mbps
4.0%

25 - 50 Mbps
14.7%

125-150 Mbps
12.9%

50-75 Mbps
16.8%

50-75 Mbps
23.8%
25-50 Mbps
29.1%

100-125 Mbps
15.3%

75-100 Mbps
17.3%

Source: Signals Research Group

The bar chart and the pie charts which appear below the bar chart show the individual contributions of the primary and secondary carriers. SK Telecom has 20 MHz in Band 3 (1800 MHz) and
10 MHz in Band 5 (850 MHz), which translates into peak data rates of approximately 150 Mbps
and 75 Mbps, respectively. In our testing, we observed Band 3 or Band 5 serving as the primary
carrier (and vice-versa). For this reason, the primary and secondary carriers contributed roughly
equal amounts to the total throughput. In our forthcoming report we will base our analysis on
the frequency bands being used for each carrier since this level of detail is critical to the understanding of LTE network performance.

8 | Signals Flash August 13, 2014

We observed Band 3 or Band 5


serving as the primary carrier
(and vice-versa).

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Figure 2 provides probability distribution curves for the LTE-A Physical Layer downlink throughput.
We have included separate curves for several groupings of tests as well as a composite curve
that represents a weighted average of all test scenarios. There are a couple of points that are
worth making.
Figure 2 LTE-A Physical Layer Downlink Throughput probability distribution curves
TOTAL DATA TRANSFERRED = 393.1 GB
Maximum Physical Layer Throughput (1 second interval) = 221.11 Mbps
Median Physical Layer Throughput = 98.9 Mbps
Composite Throughput (Median) = 98.9 Mbps
Friday Afternoon (Median) = 87.9 Mbps
Saturday Early Morning (Median) = 110.0 Mbps

Saturday Pedestrian (Median) = 67.9 Mbps


Subway (Median) = 133.6 Mbps
Sunday Early Morning (Median) = 106.0 Mbps

Probability
100%
PHY Layer Downlink Total Subway Testing (Mbps)

80%

60%

PHY Layer Downlink Total Friday Afternoon (Mbps)

PHY Layer Downlink Total Saturday Early Morning (Mbps)

PHY Layer Downlink Total Saturday Afternoon and


Evening Pedestrian Testing (Mbps)

40%

PHY Layer Downlink Total Sunday Early Morning (Mbps)

Composite Downlink PHY


Layer Throughput (Mbps)

20%

0%
0

25

50

75

100

125

150

175

200

225

Mbps
Source: Signals Research Group

First, the typical throughput observed during a 4 hour drive test on Friday afternoon was largely
in line with results obtained during the night. This result speaks to the impressive densification of
SK Telecoms network (~500 m inter-cell spacing in the metropolitan area) and the reality that the
city never sleeps. Second, thanks to the operators base station repeaters/DAS we observed the
highest sustained throughput while testing indoors, especially in the subway stations and while
riding in the subway between stations. The subway results are based on a total of 29.1 minutes of
continuous testing, including Gangnam Station on a Saturday night and another test on Saturday
afternoon that started at the entrance to Samseong station and finished 7 stops later at the
Sadang station, following a lengthy walk while we transferred from Line 2 to Line 4. In the test
methodology section we include two screen shots of the Galaxy S5 Cat 6 device that illustrate
what we observed during these tests. Lastly, we observed the lowest throughput in the heavily
congested areas of the Namdaemun Market on a Saturday afternoon and the Gangnam District
on an early Saturday night.

We observed the highest


sustained throughput while
testing indoors, especially
in the subway stations and
while riding in the subway
between stations.

As we expected, testing the uplink proved to be quite boring since with the very close cell sites
the throughput was rarely outside of a very tight range between 22.5 and 25 Mbps. Figure 3 shows
probability distribution curves for each grouping of tests as well as a composite curve which
represents a weighted average of all uplink test results. With the exception of the Friday afternoon drive test, all uplink throughput results were collected with the Category 4 smartphone

The median Physical Layer


uplink data rate was 23.1
Mbps and the peak data rate
was 25.1 Mbps.

10 | Signals Flash August 13, 2014

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and obtained concurrently while testing the downlink. Based on 27.5 GB of transferred data the
median Physical Layer uplink data rate was 23.1 Mbps and the peak data rate was 25.1 Mbps.
Although all of the results are impressive there is a noticeable difference in the results obtained
early on a Sunday morning. After further review we discovered that the Cat 6 device, which was
doing a downlink throughput test at the same time, was using the same band for its primary
carrier as the Cat 4 device was using for its uplink tests. Therefore, the uplink ACKs from the Cat
6 device were taking away uplink resources from the Cat 4 device. In other words, the apparent
anomaly in the results was likely self-inflected and the actual network performance was better
than what we are showing in the figure. In hindsight it probably wasnt such a good idea to try to
kill two birds with a single stone.

Figure 3. LTE-A Physical Layer Uplink Throughput probability distribution curves and pie charts
TOTAL DATA TRANSFERRED = 27.5 GB
Maximum Physical Layer Throughput (1 second interval) = 25.1 Mbps
Composite Throughput (Median) = 23.1 Mbps
Friday Afternoon (Median) = 23.5 Mbps

Saturday Morning (Median) = 23.9 Mbps


Sunday Morning (Median) = 20.7 Mbps

Probability
100%

80%

<5 Mbps 0.4%


5-10 Mbps 0.8%
10-15 Mbps 1.3%

PHY Layer Friday Afternoon (Mbps)

PHY Layer - Saturday Morning (Mbps)

>25 Mbps
10.1%

60%
PHY Layer - Sunday Morning (Mbps)

40%

15-20
Mbps
8.7%
20-22.5 Mbps
19.0%

PHY Layer - Composite


Throughput (Mbps)
20%

22.5-25 Mbps
59.7%

0%
0

10

15
Mbps

20

22.5

25

MAX
Physical Layer
Uplink Throughput (Mbps)
Source: Signals Research Group

At the moment, SK Telecom has 10 MHz of spectrum for the uplink in Band 5 and 10 MHz of spectrum for the uplink in Band 3, even though in Band 3 it has 20 MHz in the downlink. This situation
really stems from how the spectrum was awarded but it does limit the uplink throughput relative
to what we would have obtained with a 20 MHz radio carrier. Once uplink carrier aggregation is
commercialized, we expect the network to deliver two times the data rates that we observed
during our tests.

12 | Signals Flash August 13, 2014

TEST METHODOLOGY
We arrived in Seoul on Thursday afternoon. SK Telecom delivered the two Galaxy smartphones
to our hotel later that evening. Friday morning we went to the Accuver [Innowireless] facilities
outside of Seoul where their engineers loaded the test software on the two phones. We used
XCAL-Solo to collect network performance data with the Cat 6 smartphone and XCAL-Mobile
to collect network performance data with the Cat 4 smartphone. The two drive test solutions
are identical in terms of functionality and GUI. They differ in that XCAL-Solo uses a separate
box that is about the size of a cassette tape box, which connects to the test phone through
the USB port. With this external interface it is possible to test with a much larger mix of smartphones since there isnt any need for any additional customization of the smartphone and/or
the XCAL software.

We used XCAL-Solo to collect


data with the Cat 6 device
and XCAL-Mobile to collect
data with the Cat 4 device.

From our perspective, both solutions worked flawlessly and it was a breeze to collect data in
a very non-obtrusive manner while navigating the city streets, riding the subway, shopping, or
nursing a pint in a Gangnam pub. We also found that the user interface was nearly identical to
the PC-based version of XCAL that we have typically used so we had absolutely no problem using
the solution. Further, the two solutions collected the same detailed information that we have
come to rely on in the past for our analysis. Figure 4 shows a picture of the test setup in our rental
car the Cat 6 smartphone is on the left, the XCAL-Solo external box is in the middle and the Cat
4 smartphone with XCAL-Mobile installed is on the right. We also used a GPS repeater that was
mounted on the roof of the car to amplify the satellitew signal since we were using the internal
GPS radios in the two smartphones to provide our GPS coordinates.

Figure 4. Test Setup

Source: Signals Research Group

13 | Signals Flash August 13, 2014

In total, we drove 175.8 miles throughout Seoul while testing the network (reference Figure 5).
We also tested while shopping in the Namdaemun Market on a Saturday afternoon and while
walking the streets near the Gangnam subway station on an early Saturday night. Additionally, we
tested indoors, including subway stations, on the train between subway stops, and in our hotel.
We tested during the heat of the day and during the midnight hours. Although the throughput
was somewhat higher between midnight and 6 AM there wasnt a major difference in the results.
We base this outcome on the densification of the operators network and the reality that the
city never sleeps especially Gangnam. It was, however easier to drive around town at night and
we had the FM radio to keep us company. All of our throughput testing was based on the FTP
application. SK Telecom provided us with access to a high bandwidth server.

We drove 175.8 miles


throughout Seoul while
testing the network.

Figure 5. Drive Routes

Source: Signals Research Group

Just to prove that we are not making up these results, we are including three screenshots that
we took with the Cat 6 smartphone (reference Figure 6). The figure on the left is from a FTP
downlink test that we did while driving in the Gangnam district on Friday afternoon. We took
the middle screenshot while riding on a subway midway between two stations. The figure on the
right was taken while walking/testing in Gangnam station on Saturday night. Each figure shows
the maximum, minimum, average, and the instantaneous throughput observed at the moment
we took the picture. We are almost confident that in all three pictures the minimum throughput
was due entirely to the start/stop of an FTP session.
To put things in perspective, the screenshot from Gangnam Station shows a maximum throughput
of 181 Mbps and an average throughput of 101.51 Mbps. The average is also based on more than
233 seconds, or nearly 4 minutes, of continuous downlink data transfers. We note that each log
file is based on multiple FTP tests with each FTP test lasting several minutes we generally limited
each log file to 45-50 minutes of testing.

14 | Signals Flash August 13, 2014

Figure 6. Galaxy S5 Cat 6 Screenshots of XCAL-Solo in Action


Gangnam District
(Friday Afternoon

Subway Ride
(Saturday @ 1300 hours)

Gangnam Station
(Saturday @ 2000 hours)

Source: Signals Research Group

We also used the Spirent Quantum Battery Life Measurement System to measure the power
consumption, current drain and estimated battery life of the two smartphones for a number
of different scenarios. We plan to incorporate the results from this testing in our forthcoming report.
Our testing included the following applications:

FTP downlink multithread FTP sessions to a high bandwidth server with each test generally
lasting at least 30-45 minutes

FTP uplink - multithread FTP sessions to a high bandwidth server with each test generally lasting
at least 30-45 minutes

FTP downlink two devices running in parallel

Web

browsing loading 5 locally popular web pages; each test involved each webpage loaded
100 times. In total we loaded approximately 3,000 web pages between the two smartphones

YouTube

playing a 4 minute HD video 3 times on both smartphones; test repeated several


times in different conditions

Btv Mobile streaming SD, HD and UHD video content to both smartphones

Google

Play download downloading 3 large applications

15 | Signals Flash August 13, 2014

For our forthcoming report we plan to include the following analysis:

Determine when and how 10 MHz + 20 MHz carrier aggregation is used as well as what incremental benefit it offers over a single 20 MHz carrier for the various applications that we tested

Calculate

RB adjusted throughput to take into consideration network loading

Determine the incremental performance benefits of a Cat 6 device over a Cat 4 device and
under what conditions the benefits are realized

Analyze

network performance (primary + secondary carriers) as a function of numerous underlying KPIs, including

RSRP

SINR/CQI

PUSCH transmit power

Power Headroom

Cell handovers

MIMO utilization

Determine current drain, power consumption and the estimated battery life for both smartphones with a particular emphasis on Btv Mobile, the operators IPTV service that it offers over
its LTE network

Impact of backlight

Airplane mode/LTE radio on

Streaming different video formats SD through UHD

YouTube HD content

FTP downloads

Web browsing

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16 | Signals Flash August 13, 2014

ON THE HORIZON: POTENTIAL SIGNALS AHEAD/SIGNALS FLASH! TOPICS


We have identified a list of pending research topics that we are currently considering or presently working on completing.
The topics at the top of the list are definitive with many of them already in the works. The topics toward the bottom of
the page are a bit more speculative. Obviously, this list is subject to change based on various factors and market trends. As
always, we welcome suggestions from our readers.

VoLTE versus OTT benchmark study (part II)

Over-the-air Smartphone user experience benchmark study

Small cell market update, potentially including network economic analysis

Content Caching and its impact on the user experience

LTE Advanced 10 MHz + 20 MHz Carrier Aggregation Drive Test (including other LTE Advanced features as they
become available)

Over-the air Smartphone RF performance benchmark study

CTIA Wireless Week Key Takeaways (Signals Flash)

Video delivery and LTE benchmark study

LTE TDD and LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation chipset study

Cloud RAN

Smartphone signaling implications across operating systems

A-GNSS platform benchmark study (Round II)

17 | Signals Flash August 13, 2014

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: SIGNALS AHEAD BACK ISSUES


7/8/14 By the Light of the Silvery Moon - 4x2 Closed

2/12/14 eMBMS/LTE Broadcast - once bitten, twice

Loop MIMO Drive Test Study With the continued support


of Accuver, we leveraged its XCAL drive test solution and its
XCAP post-processing software to evaluate the performance of
Closed Loop MIMO (CL-MIMO) with a 4x2 antenna configuration - 4 transmit/receive antennas at the cell site and 2 receive
antennas in the mobile device. We compared 4x2 CL-MIMO and
2x2 OL-MIMO, 4x2 CL-MIMO and 4x2 transmit diversity (by getting
T- Mobile to turn off MIMO in its network), and the benefits
of 4 receive antennas at the cell site. In addition to presenting an
analysis of overall DL/UL network performance we also quantify
the downlink and uplink performance gains associated with 4x2
over 2x2. These gains include higher data rates for a given RSRP/
downlink pathloss, more efficient use of network resources, and
an improved battery life.

shy? We examine the market opportunity for eMBMS. Specific


topics include looking at what went wrong the first time MBMS
and related technologies were proposed. We also provide a technology primer that looks at how eMBMS impacts the network
architecture and the air interface. The primer also includes a look
at the functionality by 3GPP release. We then examine the use
cases with a particular focus on why we like some use cases versus
other use cases. Next, we present the all-important challenges
that operators will face before being able to offer LTE Broadcast
services. Lastly, we provide our market outlook for eMBMS,
including the catalysts that could drive wider spread adoption,
including more operators and larger MBSFN Areas.

5/29/14 LTE and the Public Safety Paradigm Shift

Although forecasts vary dramatically, Public Safety LTE is a multibillion dollar market opportunity for infrastructure vendors,
chipset suppliers and device manufacturers. Unfortunately, it
is approaching 20 years in the making and it still seems as if not
very much has happened since the initiatives first began - in some
cases in the previous Century. In this report, we provide a history
lesson of where the Public Safety Communications sector has
been; we discuss where the industry is going on a global basis; we
identify the Public Safety Communications requirements and how
the industry standards bodies are [or are not] addressing these
needs; and we look to the future and discuss how we believe the
market will evolve, the vendors that are helping in the effort, and
the innumerable challenges that remain.
5/7/14

Chips and Salsa XVIII LTE Chipset


Performance Benchmark Results: The Cat 4 is out
of the bag In our tenth benchmark study that we have done
with Spirent Communications, we provide results from LTE FDD
Category 4 chipset testing. We benchmarked six LTE chipsets from
Ericsson (pre-commercial), HiSilicon (commercial), Intel (commercial), MediaTek (pre-commercial), Qualcomm (commercial) and
Samsung (pre-commercial). We tested each chipset against 29
test scenarios involving five ITU channel models, two transmission
modes, and three MIMO correlation factors. Results are based
primarily on achievable throughput, although we also analyzed
the distributions of reported CQI values, ACK/NACK/DTX
percentages for both codewords and MIMO utilization rates. The
Samsung pre-commercial chipset was the top-performing chipset
and it distinguished itself from its peers, in particular with some of
the more challenging test scenarios.

4/3/14

Deep in the Bowels of LTE Network


Performance With the support of Sanjole, who provided
us with its WaveJudge 4900A LTE Analyzer and IntelliJudge test
platform, we conducted a deep dive analysis of LTE network
performance. The study included the 4 largest US operators and
all of the major infrastructure suppliers. The results of the study
provide insight into the use of MIMO, the performance traits of
the eNB schedulers, network loading, downlink/uplink spectral
efficiency, and end user data rates. Bottom line while video
traffic may represent 70% or more of total data traffic, one should
not ignore all of the remaining data traffic which frequently uses a
disproportionate amount of network resources.

1/15/14 Chips and Salsa XVII - When Iconic meets

Anechoic For this study we continued our multi-year collaboration with Spirent Communications, who provided us with a
full suite of test equipment and engineering support to conduct
the tests. ETS-Lindgren joined us in the collaborative effort by
providing its anechoic chamber as well as providing access to
the companys facilities in Austin, Texas. We benchmarked five
commercially procured smartphone the LG G2, the Samsung
Galaxy S4, the Samsung Galaxy Note II, the HTC One, and the
Motorola Moto X. The top performing smartphone won by a
country mile, outperforming the second best performing smartphone by more than 35% across all tests. We include results from
some sensitivity studies that look at the incremental impact of
MIMO (TM3) versus transmit diversity (TM2) as well as the performance impact of introducing a protective cover.
11/27/13 SDN and NFV - Its not a single network

anymore In this issue we look at Software Defined Networking


(SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV), which are two
intertwined initiatives that operators and vendors are pursuing to
address challenges and inevitable changes to the operators traditional business model, not to mention the inherent shortcomings of the current core network architecture. We examine the
numerous advantages and objectives associated with them as well
as some of the pitfalls that will exist if they are not successfully
implemented. We also look at likely operator rollout strategies
and the likely network functions from the radio access network
through the core and backhauls where they will first be used.
Finally, we take a quick look at what some of the vendors are doing
in the space and the work that is taking place in the various standards bodies and specific associations that are trying to introduce
important standards.
10/23/13 LTE Advanced Network Drive Test Gangnam

Style (As the Carrier Aggregation World Turns)


Based on testing in South Korea we provide the industry with its
first independent assessment of LTE Advanced carrier aggregation. In addition to providing detailed analysis of the downlink
throughput for the two radio carriers as well as other important
KPIs which have an impact on performance, we also analyze the
uplink performance and quantify the incremental benefits of a
Category 4 device. Additionally, we present the results from several
user experience tests involving web browsing, VoLTE, downloading
applications from Google Play, 1080P video streaming and Skype
video/Video telephony. Ultimately, we conclude that carrier
aggregation has real benefits that extend beyond increasing the
peak data rates.

18 | Signals Flash August 13, 2014

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please note disclaimer: The views expressed in this newsletter reflect those of Signals Research Group and are based on our understanding of past and current events shaping the wireless industry.
This report is provided for informational purposes only and on the condition that it will not form a basis for any investment decision. The information has been obtained from sources believed to be
reliable, but Signals Research Group makes no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of such information. Opinions, estimates, projections or forecasts in this report constitute the current
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If you feel our opinions, analysis or interpretations of events are inaccurate, please fell free to contact Signals Research Group. We are always seeking a more accurate understanding of the topics
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19 | Signals Flash August 13, 2014