Tarana Wireless, Inc.

Real World Performance: G1 vs. 3GPP

An operator recently decided to do a head-to-head comparison between Tarana’s G1 and a leading 3GPP vendor’s fixed wireless system. The results speak for themselves to the power of G1’s true ngFWA instantiation.

At Tarana, we know well that when it comes to new tech with bold claims, seeing is believing. While we recently presented our case for our G1 platform’s performance gains over 3GPP radio networks in a brief blog and more-detailed technical white paper, nothing beats real-world results to help make the G1 difference crystal clear.

A US-based operator recently took on this challenge with a head-to-head comparison between Tarana’s Gigabit 1 (G1) next-generation fixed wireless access (ngFWA) platform and an alternative 3GPP-based FWA design from another leading radio communication equipment manufacturer. The goal was to compare each system’s capabilities in the same live environment representative of common FWA operational conditions in 3 GHz CBRS spectrum. The results (which come as no surprise to us) speak for themselves, with G1 handily outperforming the 3GPP system by wide margins in 18 of the 19 test locations at distances up to 7 miles.

About the Tests

To keep the test configurations comparable, a 3GPP base station model was used with 2 x 40 MHz carrier aggregation. This gave it a channel width similar to G1’s base node configuration (also 2 x 40 MHz carriers). A total of three 3GPP base stations and two G1 base nodes were used on the tower.[SG1] Distances of the customer premise radio (CPE) locations from the tower site ranged from 1 mile (1.6 km) to 7 miles (11.2 km).

Serviceability

The first value measured was serviceability, defined as whether a CPE radio at a given subscriber location could support a viable link suitable for broadband use. In total, 19 locations were tested, yielding the following results:

Percentage of CPE Locations
3GPP
Tarana G1
Sites serviceable at any speed
79%
95%
Sites serviceable with > 25 Mbps/5 Mbps
21%
95%
Sites with ≥ 100 Mbps downlink
16%
84%

Serviceability directly impacts an operator’s bottom line. The higher the percentage of serviceable sites, the greater the potential subscriber base and revenue per tower installation. Greater serviceability also translates into fewer wasted truck rolls where the service visit did not result in a new subscriber.

The level of service that can be offered is very critical to operators’ success. Higher throughput enables richer ARPU, greater customer satisfaction, and lower churn. In this side-by-side trial, 84% of the sites could support 100 Mbps service with G1 versus 16% for 3GPP, over 5x improvement in business outcomes.

Throughput

When downlink throughput is compared (see figure below), G1 outperformed the 3GPP system in all but one site. Further inspection revealed this site had more limited coverage due to only two G1 base nodes on the tower versus the three used for the 3GPP system. Had there been three G1 base nodes at the tower site, comparatively higher performance would have been maintained across all 19 locations.

G1 outperforms 3GPP in downlink and uplink performance in 18 tested locations

Across all locations, 3GPP averaged 46 Mbps of downlink throughput versus 322 Mbps for G1, an improvement of 7x.

For uplink performance, G1’s symmetric link budget and collaborative beamforming exemplifies the performance a next-generation FWA platform can achieve. Again, G1 outperformed the 3GPP system in all but one instance, which is the same location as noted for the downlink results. Across all locations, 3GPP averaged 5 Mbps of uplink throughput versus 66 Mbps for G1, an improvement of over 13x.

The Power of ngFWA

3GPP-based networks are excellent at delivering the mobility services for which they were designed. As these results show clearly, 3GPP standards were not optimized for fixed wireless applications. Tarana’s G1, in contrast, embodies ngFWA’s key design principles and is therefore purpose-built explicitly for fixed wireless. It achieves unrivaled fixed broadband service capacity, coverage, and ease of deployment based on a number of field-proven innovations in radio design and real-time digital signal processing.

Only G1 delivers gigabit speeds, at a broad scale, with excellent non-line-of-sight performance and interference immunity. All of these are necessary for endgame broadband that can meet subscribers’ needs for years to come.

If you just can’t wait to learn more, check out our other blogs or some of our favorite customer links. Or reach out to us at info@taranawireless.com. We’d love to hear from you.