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5G Coverage, Prediction, and Trial Measurements

by   Tristan Curry, et al.
Macquarie University

When planning a 5G network in the sub-6GHz bands, similar cell planning techniques to LTE can be applied. Looking at the Australian environment, the n78 band (3.3-3.8GHz TDD) is approximately 1GHz higher than the 2.6GHz band used in existing LTE networks. As a result, the coverage footprint can be similar, and therefore co-locating 5G NR (New Radio) on existing LTE base stations is a common strategy for initial network rollout. Any difference in coverage can be compensated by beamforming gain, less downtilting, or increasing the gNodeB's transmit power. This paper presents an initial link budget for data services, provides a coverage prediction, and measurements for a 5G NR NSA (Non Stand Alone) trial radiating at 3.5GHz with 60 MHz bandwidth. The coverage prediction is generated using RF planning tool Atoll, which is then compared to coverage measurements from the trial. These findings can be used to help plan a future 5G network in the Sydney metro area or similar environment.


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