5G NR network rollout is now – let’s test!: Page 2 of 10

April 06, 2020 //By Arnd Sibila, Technology Marketing Manager, Rohde & Schwarz Mobile Network Testing
Rohde & Schwarz 5G test
3GPP release 15 specifies the initial 5G standardization framework of the radio access network called 5G New Radio (5G NR). The standard contains a high degree of flexibility in radio parameters, which complicates network measurements. However, Rohde & Schwarz has already conducted measurements in pre-commercial 5G NR trial networks with its commercially available 5G NR network measurement solution. We gained interesting insights into the new technology’s performance, capabilities and frequency bands.

How does 5G NR differ from LTE?

LTE radio access (or, in 3GPP terms, eUTRAN) is an OFMD based technology with a fixed subcarrier spacing of 15 kHz that supports carrier bandwidths from 1.4 MHz up to 20 MHz. LTE has a packet-switched architecture that supports a wide range of data applications. Voice is also supported as voice over LTE (VoLTE) or using fallback mechanisms to 3G and circuit-switched technologies.

The 5G NR specification embraces flexibility. It aims to include different use case families – from enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and massive machine type communications (MIoT) to ultra-reliable, low latency communications (URLLC) – that span across industries.

These different use cases require a wide variety of air interface characteristics in terms of frequency range, subcarrier spacing, carrier bandwidths, symbol durations, etc.; the network architecture needs to offer many options. Table 1 shows the flexibility of frequency-specific parameters.


Table 1: 5NR flexibility in frequency domain parameters.

Design category: 

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