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Real World LTE Performance for Public Safety White Paper

Real World LTE Performance for Public Safety White Paper

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Published by Motorola Solutions
LTE is a new OFDM all-IP, next generation technology which will enable unprecedented broadband service to public safety agencies, achieving fixed line broadband performance while enabling new rich media services and a mobile experience.
With the promise of broadband spectrum at 700MHz for public safety, government agencies in the United States are lining up behind LTE as the air interface technology of choice to bring their own set of mobile wireless broadband devices and services into their day-to-day operations. Understanding the design considerations, limitations and realistic performance of LTE is critical for the successful deployment of these new services.
LTE is a new OFDM all-IP, next generation technology which will enable unprecedented broadband service to public safety agencies, achieving fixed line broadband performance while enabling new rich media services and a mobile experience.
With the promise of broadband spectrum at 700MHz for public safety, government agencies in the United States are lining up behind LTE as the air interface technology of choice to bring their own set of mobile wireless broadband devices and services into their day-to-day operations. Understanding the design considerations, limitations and realistic performance of LTE is critical for the successful deployment of these new services.

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Published by: Motorola Solutions on Sep 08, 2010
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01/02/2013

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REAL-WORLDLTE PERFORMANCEFOR PUBLIC SAFETY
 WHITE PAPER
SEPTEMBER
2010
 
 WHITE PAPER
REAL-WORLD LTE PERFORMANCE FOR PUBLIC SAFETY
PAGE 2
There are many dierent ways to measure perormanceo 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 saety agencies need to understandthe dierent perormance measurements.In network modeling exercises, using realisticperormance metrics like average sector and site edgethroughput deliver greater accuracy and drive morerealistic expectations. For example, peak data rates arerarely used because they reect 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 settingperormance expectations. We will look at the expectedperormance 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 saety, government agencies in the United Statesare lining up behind LTE as the air interace 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 perormance o LTE is critical orthe successul deployment o these new services.LTE is a new OFDM all-IP, next generation technologywhich will enable unprecedented broadband service topublic saety agencies, achieving fxed line broadbandperormance while enabling new rich media servicesand a mobile experience.Peak data rate has been used to create excitementabout the perormance o every new generation owireless technology. But peak perormance, as itsname implies, is only a theoretical measurement that isnot realistically achievable in a live network. Averagethroughput perormance or a single access point radio,or sector, on the other hand, is a much more accurateand realistic measure o network perormance; it allowsan operator to understand what perormance to expectrom their network, while also providing a better metricor trafc modeling. Site edge o coverage data ratemust also be considered by public saety organizationswho need to run their mission critical applications at anassured level o service. Minimum assured throughputperormance 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 perormance 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 trafc 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 aect 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 saety organizations are watching the ast pace o technologicaladvancement in the wireless carrier market and how these advancements will enable newservices and increased perormance 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 andperormance thetechnologies willdeliver.
 
HIGHER DATALOWER DATA
PAGE 3
Radio transmission is broadcast via a radio base station, which transmits the radiosignals that are received by a user’s device.
Usually, the radio signal quality is aected byseveral actors, such as the signal path loss; this is essentially the reduction in power density othe signal as it moves through the environment in which it is traveling. Other actors that aectthe signal strength include ree space loss which aects the signal as a user moves away romthe transmitting base station. The signal also suers i its path is obstructed by a actor knownas diraction or i the signal is reected and reaches the receiver via a number o dierent paths.This results in perormance degradation known as multipath. In eect, the less path loss andsusceptibility to intererence, the better the signal strength a user device experiences. The betterthe quality o signal received, the better the perormance and throughput achieved by the user.
This is very dierent rom what we experiencetoday with cable and other fxed connections. Fixedconnections do not suer as much rom signalattenuation as the fxed connection signal travelsin a confned and mostly shielded environment. Anexception is xDSL as it uses very old “lossy” andunshielded copper cable, not originally designed totransport high throughputs o data. In comparisonEthernet cables or even fber connections provide highbandwidth over airly long distance; and as a resultoer more predictable data rates that reect its actualperormance.Figure 1 illustrates the eects o signal path losssuered by radio signals due to actors such as reespace loss, multipath, buildings and vegetation,diraction and the general atmosphere.These actors aect the perormance o radiotransmission and have led the drive or thedevelopment o new adaptive modulation schemesand techniques which aim to compensate or theseenvironmental actors, delivering more capacity andbetter range in an inherently noisy environment ullo obstacles. One example o these sophisticatedtechniques is adaptive modulation. Adaptivemodulation provides a tradeo between delivered bitrate and the robustness o digital encoding, in order tobalance throughput with error resilience.In areas where signal strength is good, the modulationswitches to a higher bit rate with less robust encoding,while in areas where signal strength is poor or thereare a lot o multi-path reections, the modulationswitches to a lower bit rate with more robust encodingto minimize errors. This is the reason that the highestthroughput occurs closer to the tower.The use o multipath-resistant wireless techniquessuch as Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing(OFDM) also minimizes the impact o aded, multipathsignals in a mobile wireless environment, enablingnon-line o sight (NLOS) operation.
RADIO TECHNOLOGY
FIGURE
1
 
Data throughput adjusted based on radio conditions
 WHITE PAPER
REAL-WORLD LTE PERFORMANCE FOR PUBLIC SAFETY

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