REAL-WORLD LTE PERFORMANCE FOR PUBLIC SAFETY
There are many dierent ways to measure perormanceo wireless technologies; these include peak throughput,average sector throughput, site edge throughputand user data rate, all o which take into accountvarious conditions and scenarios. To accurately predictrealistic live LTE network capacity and user experienceachievable, public saety agencies need to understandthe dierent perormance measurements.In network modeling exercises, using realisticperormance metrics like average sector and site edgethroughput deliver greater accuracy and drive morerealistic expectations. For example, peak data rates arerarely used because they reect theoretical rates thatvery ew (i any) users will actually experience in a livenetwork.This paper defnes the most common throughputmeasures and provides insight into the associatedvariables, why considering peak rates is misleading,and why average sector throughputs and site edgethroughputs are much more realistic when settingperormance expectations. We will look at the expectedperormance o LTE, supported applications, and howother actors such as latency and Quality o Service(QoS) set LTE apart.
REAL-WORLD LTE PERFORMANCE
With the promise o broadband spectrum at 700MHz orpublic saety, government agencies in the United Statesare lining up behind LTE as the air interace technologyo choice to bring their own set o mobile wirelessbroadband devices and services into their day-to-dayoperations. Understanding the design considerations,limitations and realistic perormance o LTE is critical orthe successul deployment o these new services.LTE is a new OFDM all-IP, next generation technologywhich will enable unprecedented broadband service topublic saety agencies, achieving fxed line broadbandperormance while enabling new rich media servicesand a mobile experience.Peak data rate has been used to create excitementabout the perormance o every new generation owireless technology. But peak perormance, as itsname implies, is only a theoretical measurement that isnot realistically achievable in a live network. Averagethroughput perormance or a single access point radio,or sector, on the other hand, is a much more accurateand realistic measure o network perormance; it allowsan operator to understand what perormance to expectrom their network, while also providing a better metricor trafc modeling. Site edge o coverage data ratemust also be considered by public saety organizationswho need to run their mission critical applications at anassured level o service. Minimum assured throughputperormance at the site edge provides a more accuratemeasure o the applications that can be supportedthroughout the network coverage area.With the demand or data services on a very steepgrowth curve, today’s narrowband networks are runningout o capacity. New spectrum and technology isneeded to deliver higher average sector throughput,better perormance at the edge with support o qualityo service and reduced latency. LTE will provide animproved user experience or all users while helpingagencies to deploy the mobile broadband services theyneed to enhance their operations.
Peak data rates are often perceived as actual data rates a user will experience on awireless network; this is however far from the reality.
Peak data rates do not take intoaccount actors like trafc load, ading, attenuation loss and the signal to noise ratio that havean impact on the end user data rate in a fxed line environment, and an even greater impactin wireless networks. In wireless, additional actors such as the surrounding environment andatmospheric conditions also aect the achievable data rates. This results in a real world datarate that is well below the theoretical peak data rate obtained in laboratory environments.Government and public saety organizations are watching the ast pace o technologicaladvancement in the wireless carrier market and how these advancements will enable newservices and increased perormance or operators and users.
RELATING TECHNICAL CAPABILITIES TO USER EXPERIENCE
As agencies areevaluating whereto invest in thenext generationo wirelesstechnologies, it isimportant or themto get a realisticview o the truecapabilities andperormance thetechnologies willdeliver.