5G NR network rollout is now – let’s test!: Page 4 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.

Beamforming of synchronization signals and broadcast channel information

Beamforming as a technology is not new, but with 5G, beamforming is not only applied to user-specific data streams but also to synchronization signals and broadcast channel information. Beamforming can be implemented with antenna arrays on the base station side, where different groups of antenna elements (dynamically allocated) form beams to different users depending on their phases and amplitudes related to each other.

Using beamforming also for synchronization signals and broadcast channel information provides better overall coverage thanks to the higher antenna gain. The synchronization signal block (SSB) in 5G NR can carry beam-specific information (SSB index). These SSB index “beams” are static and can be considered micro sectors, e.g. eight micro sectors in one macro sector for the 3.7 GHz case (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: The SSB index beams are static and can be considered micro sectors (Source: Rohde & Schwarz).

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