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Uplink 256QAM (UL-256QAM) and Uplink MIMO (UL-MIMO) 5G NR Band n41 Standalone (SA) Benchmark Report 2021

·3 min read

Dublin, Sept. 21, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The "5G NR Benchmark Study Vol 18: Enhanced Uplink Features" report has been added to's offering.

The Publisher conducted a benchmark study of two critical enhancements to the uplink performance of 5G NR, specifically uplink 256QAM (UL-256QAM) and uplink MIMO (UL-MIMO).

The publisher tested these features in the T-Mobile 5G NR Band n41 Standalone (SA) commercial network in Buena Park, California. Ericsson is the infrastructure vendor.

To the best of the publisher's knowledge, T-Mobile is the first operator in the world to have enabled these critical uplink features and it is now getting ready to deploy these features on a large-scale basis across its nationwide Band n41 network. Without question, this report provides the industry with the first independent analysis of burgeoning features that will play a critical role in the future success of 5G NR, especially for operators with mid-band TDD spectrum, including C-Band spectrum.

As the publisher supports with lots of detailed analysis in the subsequent chapters of this report, UL-256QAM and UL-MIMO have a meaningful impact on end user data speeds as well as increasing spectrum eciency. Although network trac is primarily in the downlink direction, the uplink performance is becoming more important due to user-generated content.

Further, in TDD networks operators dedicate most of the time allocation to the downlink direction (roughly a 3 to 1 ratio), meaning they need to maximize the performance in the uplink direction to compensate for this disparity and to ensure they can continue weighting their spectrum to the downlink direction where most of the network trac occurs.

To put things into perspective, without these features enabled, the publisher observed a peak uplink data speed of 85.9 Mbps (Galaxy S21 Ultra) in a 100 MHz 5G NR TDD channel. With UL-256 QAM, the peak uplink speed increased to 108.2 Mbps (LG Wing), and with UL-256QAM and UL-MIMO enabled on the same smartphone the peak speed increased to 223.3 Mbps (OnePlus 9 Pro). The OnePlus 9 Pro also supported a transmit mode which leveraged the two transmit chains to send a single layer data transmission. This capability is intended to improve performance in more challenging RF environments.

As a separate study, the publisher used a Rohde & Schwarz TSME6 scanner to capture RF characteristics of four 5G NR networks (AT&T (n5), T-Mobile (N71 and n41), and Verizon (n5), spanning two markets (D.C./Virginia/Maryland) and Minneapolis. The publisher focused their analysis on signal quality versus signal strength since the former is more indicative of performance.

To summarize the publisher's findings, the low band networks were impacted by too much signal (higher interference) while the coverage with the mid-band spectrum was much better than anticipated.

Key Topics Covered:

1.0 Executive Summary

2.0 Key Observations

3.0 Uplink Full Bandwidth Drive Tests
3.1 Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and OnePlus 9 Pro with UL-MIMO and 256QAM Capabilities - Simultaneous Testing
3.2 Samsung Galaxy S21 and OnePlus 9 Pro with UL-MIMO and 256QAM Capabilities - Individual Testing
3.3 LG Wing with 256QAM Capabilities - comparative results with Samsung Galaxy S Ultra and OnePlus 9 Pro
3.4 Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (LTE Band 41) and OnePlus 9 Pro (5G NR Band n and Band n71) with UL-MIMO and 256QAM Capabilities - Simultaneous Testing
3.5 OnePlus 9 Pro - UDP and HTTPS

4.0 User Experience Tests
4.1 Current Eciency
4.2 Video Chat
4.3 Web Browsing

5.0 Test Methodology

6.0 Final Thoughts

7.0 Appendix
7.1 District of Columbia, Maryland and Northern Virginia
7.2 Minneapolis and West Minneapolis Suburbs

For more information about this report visit

CONTACT: CONTACT: Laura Wood, Senior Press Manager For E.S.T Office Hours Call 1-917-300-0470 For U.S./CAN Toll Free Call 1-800-526-8630 For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900

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