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Thread: LTE (and 5G) knowledge sharing

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    LTE (and 5G) knowledge sharing

    Hi everyone, last year on the Public Mobile forums, I posted a few technical topics that I have experience with, and received mostly positive feedback. I was thinking of doing the same here, since people have an interest.

    If there's a topic that you'd like to see explained, I will try my best to answer it. Currently my experience is mostly with LTE networks, but I will be ramping up on 5G as well in the next year or so.

    I have worked as a network engineer for operators and vendors in Canada for some time. Due to the nature of my job, I may not be able to give specific details of network implementations.

    I put the topic in the Bell forums because that is my current cell provider, but the questions don't need to be specific to Bell.
    Want to learn more about how LTE works?
    https://productioncommunity.publicmo...ls/td-p/130581

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    Quote Originally Posted by sheytoon View Post
    Hi everyone, last year on the Public Mobile forums, I posted a few technical topics that I have experience with, and received mostly positive feedback. I was thinking of doing the same here, since people have an interest.

    If there's a topic that you'd like to see explained, I will try my best to answer it. Currently my experience is mostly with LTE networks, but I will be ramping up on 5G as well in the next year or so.

    I have worked as a network engineer for operators and vendors in Canada for some time. Due to the nature of my job, I may not be able to give specific details of network implementations.

    I put the topic in the Bell forums because that is my current cell provider, but the questions don't need to be specific to Bell.
    Okay. First question. What do you know about Rogers B2 deployment?

    Sent from my SM-G955W using Tapatalk

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    For LTE? Should be 15 MHz in Southern Ontario.

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    I have a Bell question. After buying my Bell Samsung Galaxy Note 4 in November 2014, I never had any Bell signal in Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls.

    In the summer of 2017, I switched to TELUS. When I went to Fallsview Casino in December 2017 using an iPhone SE, I finally had service.

    Bell appears to have a DAS there now (Bell transceivers at N43.0825 W79.0813). Do you know when it was installed?

    Sent from my SM-G960W using HoFo mobile app
    TELUS: Unlimited Canada-wide Talk, Text and 15+10 GB Data
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheytoon View Post
    For LTE? Should be 15 MHz in Southern Ontario.
    No like the areas its deployed... Because its not deployed everywhere... I'm just curious as to when it'll be deployed in Peterborough

    Sent from my SM-G955W using Tapatalk

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    For what it’s worth, even in areas where Rogers has B2, I noticed phones will still switch between B2 and B4 regularly and still prefer B4 as the primary carrier when both bands have equally strong signal. Completely contrary to Bellus where my Telus phone is almost always on B2.


    Sent from my iPhone using HoFo

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    Quote Originally Posted by toolcube View Post
    For what it’s worth, even in areas where Rogers has B2, I noticed phones will still switch between B2 and B4 regularly and still prefer B4 as the primary carrier when both bands have equally strong signal. Completely contrary to Bellus where my Telus phone is almost always on B2.


    Sent from my iPhone using HoFo
    I experience the exact same thing.

    Sent from my SM-G955W using Tapatalk

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    Cool, so many unknowns with 5G.

    Do you see providers deploying 5G NSA first then SA? Which Option type are they looking to deploy first? To me it seems most logical to go with Option 3 or 3A.

    For people who are wondering, see this slideshow for details: https://www.slideshare.net/3G4GLtd/5...ecture-options
    and:
    https://blog.3g4g.co.uk/2017/10/5g-a...ployments.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Night_Owl View Post
    I have a Bell question. After buying my Bell Samsung Galaxy Note 4 in November 2014, I never had any Bell signal in Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls.

    In the summer of 2017, I switched to TELUS. When I went to Fallsview Casino in December 2017 using an iPhone SE, I finally had service.

    Bell appears to have a DAS there now (Bell transceivers at N43.0825 W79.0813). Do you know when it was installed?
    Fallsview was done about a year ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by DevinRabey
    No like the areas its deployed... Because its not deployed everywhere... I'm just curious as to when it'll be deployed in Peterborough
    Sorry, no idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by zivan56 View Post
    Cool, so many unknowns with 5G.

    Do you see providers deploying 5G NSA first then SA? Which Option type are they looking to deploy first? To me it seems most logical to go with Option 3 or 3A.

    For people who are wondering, see this slideshow for details: https://www.slideshare.net/3G4GLtd/5...ecture-options
    and:
    https://blog.3g4g.co.uk/2017/10/5g-a...ployments.html
    Early adopters will for sure go NSA before SA, but it's also going to depend on when the first SA-capable UE will be available. Some operators who are not in a rush, or countries with late auctions may launch with SA.

    I think it'll be Option 3x for NSA. It's a hybrid of Option 3 and 3A. SA would obviously be Option 2, but that's the final stage. I think interim might be Option 7x. So the overall path would be 3x -> 7x -> 2.

    I'm just starting to learn about EN-DC and all the new terminology. It's pretty confusing. There's MeNB and SgNB, and there's even the concept of PSCell (primary SCell)!!

    Love that question. This is the type of stuff I like talking about

    For those who are wondering what the acronyms mean, here's a quick summary...

    LTE = Long Term Evolution, this is the 4G standard
    NR = New Radio, this is the 5G standard
    eNB = eNodeB or 4G/LTE base station
    gNB = gNodeB or 5G/NR base station
    UE = User equipment, which can be a phone, or CPE, or other device

    NSA = Non-standalone, meaning 5G uses the existing LTE core network, and the UE simultaneously connects to eNB and gNB
    SA = Standalone, meaning 5G uses a new 5G core network, and the UE only connects to gNB

    MeNB = Master eNB, in the context of NSA Option 3x, the eNB will act as the LTE anchor and take care of all signaling with the core network.
    SgNB = Secondary gNB, in the context of NSA Option 3x, the gNB will act as the secondary node and provide additional user-plane capacity.
    EN-DC = EUTRA-NR Dual Connectivity, this is how the EUTRA (LTE) and NR work together to serve one user with 2 simultaneous connections.

    PScell = Primary Secondary Cell, sort of like the PCC of the SgNB.

    In terms of spectrum, in North America we are initially looking at n71 (600 MHz), n78 (3.5 GHz), n257 (28 GHz) bands. n71 is FDD and the other 2 are TDD. Anything below 6 GHz is considered FR1 or "frequency range 1". These are traditional bands and their propagation characteristics are very well known. Anything above 24 GHz is considered FR2, also known as millimeter wave (mmWave). This spectrum is a totally new world for cellular, and everyone is going to be learning how it works.

    Spectrum auctions in Canada will be taking place in the next 3 years for those bands respectively, which means Canada will be late to the 5G party unfortunately.
    Last edited by sheytoon; 08-30-2018 at 07:52 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DevinRabey View Post
    No like the areas its deployed... Because its not deployed everywhere... I'm just curious as to when it'll be deployed in Peterborough

    Sent from my SM-G955W using Tapatalk
    I see 15 MHz in Calgary

    Sent from my SM-G960W using HoFo mobile app

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    Thanks for the info on the acronyms.

    Canada, by not being an early adopter, may wind up with a slightly delayed, but better, 5G system. I have never found it advantageous to be an early adopter of tech.

    The question that puzzles me is, what is 5G going to do for me and us? My understanding is that it will do very little for handset use vs LTE. It may reduce cell congestion somewhat and get us faster mobile data, but it isn't going to make my conversations any more interesting.

    As for data speed, I read people salivating about how 5G will give them Gbps data on their phones. Well, whoop-te-do, what routine things can't I do with data at 5 Mbps or so 4G? GB data on a cellphone is nigh on pointless with current routine use.

    The vast majority of smartphone users have no idea of what data speed they get and wouldn't even know how to check. That is cell-geek stuff. I am a bit of a cell-geek myself and I can tell you that my data speed varies a lot. Sometimes it is sub Mbps and I don't even notice. I certainly don't speed test anywhere near every time I use mobile data. I touch the icon and I get what I wanted without unreasonable delay - most of the time.

    My understanding is that 5G will be more about IoT, MTM, telepresense, etc, and likely many things we have not even thought of yet. I believe that there is a lot of money to be made with new tech, but it is not going to be about handset use. That market is near saturation for new handset activations and lines.

    Is 5G somehow going to improve the coverage situation? IMHO that is the main problem with the current cell situation. I'm looking at you Sprint and T-Mobile. Verizon and AT&T are not perfect either, just less horrible than the lesser two. You can't have inexpensive, low-power 5G cow ear-tags if you don't cover rural ranges.

    I see a lot about how 5G will enable fixed wireless to compete with the cable cos. I believe this is a misunderstanding of how radio spectrum, propagation and bandwidth works. 4G could deliver fixed wireless, though somewhat less efficiently, with the same bandwidth as 5G. I believe 5G gets confused the the capacity of mm-wave. 4G could run on mm-wave, but it makes more sense to develop it with 5G as the next, more efficient, generation or cell data.

    One thing I am sure of: 5G does not equal mm-waves. And mm-waves do not equal 5G. mm-waves are problematic with their and range and substance penetration characteristics.

    I personally don't give a flying fig who gets to 5G and Gbps cell data first. I will be waiting to see who deploys the best coverage with the best price.

    I started with a battery powered 300 bps dialup modem and Commodore VIC-20 to use Compuserve and BBs in the 1980s. I expect the next generation of telecommunications will be as interesting as those that preceded.

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    I thought I'd add this nice infographic on the different Option 3 variants that I got from this GTI white paper:
    http://www.gtigroup.org/d/file/Resou...359e11f794.pdf

    The dotted line is the control plane to MME, and the solid line is the user plane to SGW (actual user traffic):
    Name:  Option3.jpg
Views: 754
Size:  33.2 KB

    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    Thanks for the info on the acronyms.

    Canada, by not being an early adopter, may wind up with a slightly delayed, but better, 5G system. I have never found it advantageous to be an early adopter of tech.

    The question that puzzles me is, what is 5G going to do for me and us? My understanding is that it will do very little for handset use vs LTE. It may reduce cell congestion somewhat and get us faster mobile data, but it isn't going to make my conversations any more interesting.
    Good question about 5G use cases. The real answer right now is nobody knows for sure. Just like when LTE was first being developed and launched, everyone was asking "why do we need such speeds", "what's the point", etc.

    Right now, there's 3 broad categories for 5G:
    1) eMBB: enhanced mobile broadband
    2) mMTC: massive machine-type communications
    3) URLLC: ultra reliable low-latency communications

    eMBB will support extremely high speeds and capacity for things like fixed wireless broadband, virtual or augmented reality (VR/AR). By the way, here's a pretty cool concept video for AR (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJg02ivYzSs)

    mMTC will support massive deployment of IoT devices as you said, which basically means sensors and smart devices everywhere.

    URLLC's goal is sub 1ms latency and extremely high reliability for mission-critical applications like remote controlled vehicles, remote surgery, etc. It's important to note that URLLC can't support high Gbps throughput.

    For a given UE, the air interface resources are structured in such a way that it allows for one of the 3 categories to be used by that UE. It can't use all 3 at the same time. However, multiple UEs of different types can be scheduled at the same time by the gNB. That means one eMBB user and one URLLC user can be scheduled at the same time, using different resource blocks (RB).

    The interesting thing with the 5G NR standard is that it's designed to be extremely flexible to accommodate many different applications simultaneously. 3GPP has built in many different options for subcarrier spacing, frame structures, bandwidth, CA, TTI duration, and so on, in order to support all these use cases.

    As for data speed, I read people salivating about how 5G will give them Gbps data on their phones. Well, whoop-te-do, what routine things can't I do with data at 5 Mbps or so 4G? GB data on a cellphone is nigh on pointless with current routine use.

    The vast majority of smartphone users have no idea of what data speed they get and wouldn't even know how to check. That is cell-geek stuff. I am a bit of a cell-geek myself and I can tell you that my data speed varies a lot. Sometimes it is sub Mbps and I don't even notice. I certainly don't speed test anywhere near every time I use mobile data. I touch the icon and I get what I wanted without unreasonable delay - most of the time.
    I personally agree that high speeds are pointless. Even now I have no need for speeds beyond 5 Mbps. The only time faster speeds are beneficial is when I'm tethering my laptop for work and need to transfer large files.

    My understanding is that 5G will be more about IoT, MTM, telepresense, etc, and likely many things we have not even thought of yet. I believe that there is a lot of money to be made with new tech, but it is not going to be about handset use. That market is near saturation for new handset activations and lines.
    Very hard to predict the future, but you might be right. We'll have to wait and see what happens.

    Is 5G somehow going to improve the coverage situation? IMHO that is the main problem with the current cell situation. I'm looking at you Sprint and T-Mobile. Verizon and AT&T are not perfect either, just less horrible than the lesser two. You can't have inexpensive, low-power 5G cow ear-tags if you don't cover rural ranges.
    There's a lot more beamforming and antenna diversity involved in 5G, especially at frequencies like 3.5 GHz (n78 band). Vendors are providing 64T64R radios, which should be able to focus very narrow beams to reach UEs further away than LTE. It remains to be seen how effective beamforming will be in practice. On paper, it seems like a good idea, but this is obviously for downlink. It won't help much for uplink. The main techniques for improving uplink coverage for IoT devices is lower modulation and repetition.

    I see a lot about how 5G will enable fixed wireless to compete with the cable cos. I believe this is a misunderstanding of how radio spectrum, propagation and bandwidth works. 4G could deliver fixed wireless, though somewhat less efficiently, with the same bandwidth as 5G. I believe 5G gets confused the the capacity of mm-wave. 4G could run on mm-wave, but it makes more sense to develop it with 5G as the next, more efficient, generation or cell data.

    One thing I am sure of: 5G does not equal mm-waves. And mm-waves do not equal 5G. mm-waves are problematic with their and range and substance penetration characteristics.
    You're right. In Canada, we already have fixed wireless broadband LTE and it works just fine. 5G allows wider channel bandwidths and higher frequency bands, which in turn will support eMBB as stated earlier. You're right about mmWave as well. Similar to how 3G could've supported MIMO and 256QAM, there's no reason why LTE couldn't support mmWave. It's just a good time to update the standards and combine these enhancements at one time to evolve the technology to another level.

    I personally don't give a flying fig who gets to 5G and Gbps cell data first. I will be waiting to see who deploys the best coverage with the best price.

    I started with a battery powered 300 bps dialup modem and Commodore VIC-20 to use Compuserve and BBs in the 1980s. I expect the next generation of telecommunications will be as interesting as those that preceded.
    It will take some time before coverage is ubiquitous. Especially with the higher frequencies that NR will be deployed at, I have a feeling that we won't see good coverage in Canada until 2025 or so, maybe a few years sooner in the US.

    Luckily for me, I don't need to wait for 5G coverage to be great before I start using it. I get to work on it every day and see how it evolves from day 1. That's one of the things I like most about my job!
    Last edited by sheytoon; 09-05-2018 at 07:49 PM.

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    I thought some 5G use cases were: 1) super low latency for gamers, VR, etc, 2) self-driving cars, 3) surgery that can be done without the surgeon anywhere near the hospital. Not Just Speed: 7 Incredible Things You Can Do with 5G: https://www.cnet.com/google-amp/news...drones-remote/

    I think another huge benefit is the upcoming 600 MHz auction to finally provide good rural coverage. Well, that's what I keep reading when it comes to T-Mobile, anyway. T-Mobile's 5G plans: 600 MHz and millimetre wave in 30 cities this year: https://www.androidpolice.com/2018/0...ar-no-devices/

    I think T-Mobile spent big and they're bragging that their 600 MHz spectrum will eventually cover virtually the entire USA: http://maps.spectrumgateway.com/t-mobile-600-mhz.html

    EDIT: 600 MHz Extended Range LTE, laying the foundation for 5G, directly from T-Mobile: https://www.t-mobile.com/news/extend...te-puerto-rico

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    Yes, those things are all possible. We'll have to see if they actually happen. One important concept that will be introduced with 5G is Network Slicing. This is the concept of the network giving specific resources and profiles to user applications, similar to what I described above with eMBB, mMTC and URLLC. Here's a good picture from GSMA:

    https://www.gsma.com/futurenetworks/...rk-Slicing.pdf
    Name:  network-slicing.jpg
Views: 405
Size:  39.2 KB

    Network Slicing, as well as URLCC require deployment of the 5G Core network, which will not be initially available with NSA and Option 3x.

    As for T-Mobile, they are definitely pushing for 600 MHz (Band n71) as a coverage layer for 5G. It's their main low band, and it will likely get supported, but the challenge now is that device vendors are not planning to support FDD on their initial UEs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sheytoon View Post
    As for T-Mobile, they are definitely pushing for 600 MHz (Band n71) as a coverage layer for 5G. It's their main low band, and it will likely get supported, but the challenge now is that device vendors are not planning to support FDD on their initial UEs.
    Am I understanding this right? I know the Samsung Galaxy S9 in the US has three models that support B71 (Unlocked US, T-Mobile, and MetroPCS), but Canadian models don't have B71: https://www.techwalls.com/samsung-ga...r-differences/.

    Is that what you mean?

    I have the Canadian S9. Is it possible there will be a firmware update so I will get B71 in the future (after the 600 MHz auction here)?

    Sent from my SM-G960W using HoFo mobile app

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