Test and Measurement: Getting a boost from HPUE

With the move into higher frequency bands (and TDD), there are coverage range and penetration losses. In standards work, 3GPP has created an option to compensate for this: High-Powered User Equipment, or HPUE. Originally aimed at supporting the communications range boost needed by first responders, in 5G the use of HPUE has expanded and, as MediaTek has written, “can be considered a baseline for 5G deployment.”

Signals Research Group recently tested HPUE implementation in T-Mobile US’ network in Laguna Beach, California, using Motorola Edge smartphones (with MediaTek chips) that supported two different consumer HPUE power classes: PC 1.5 (29 dBm) and PC 2 (26 dBm). SRG noted that the Edge is the only smartphone on the market that currently supports PC 1.5 functionality in Band n41.

The testing and analysis firm found that the higher power-class resulted in better performance and higher uplink throughput, with gains “more likely to occur with challenging RF conditions (low RSRP) and when testing a phone by itself.” The PC 1.5-enabled smartphone also “was more likely to remain attached to the 5G network during our drive test along the coast.” However, SRG also pointed out that the use of HPUE wasn’t the only thing bolstering better uplink performance: The the Motorola edge supported both 256QAM and MIMO in the uplink, which SRG has previously tested and found to provide “significant performance gains.”

“In our view, the introduction of PC 1.5 almost guarantees handset manufacturers will implement UL-MIMO while handset manufacturers who already plan to embrace UL-MIMO will want to include PC 1.5 so that their smartphones are more likely to use the critical uplink feature,” the firm said in a summary report.

SRG used Accuver Americas’ XCAL5 drive test solution and XCAP post-processing tool, and Spirent Communications’ Umetrix Data, which generated the 300 Mbps UDP uplink data transfers during drive testing; SRG also did some stationary tests that included downlink data transfers.

In other test news:

Keysight Technologies said that it has validated the performance and design of a 5G Standalone Open RAN millimeter-wave small cell base station from Astella. Keysight Open RAN Architect (KORA) solutions were used in the validation, which involved emulating the network functions of a 5G mmWave integrated small cell as well as 5G customer premises equipment (CPE) and a 5G core network, which was configured in 5G New Radio Standalone mode.

In additional news from Keysight this week, the company also debuted the Keysight E36731A Battery Emulator and Profiler, which is aimed at being able to asses variables that affect battery drain on IoT devices so that the design of those devices can be improved.

-A National Advertising Review Board panel has recommended that T-Mobile US stop using its “most reliable” network claims based on testing by umlaut. The panel said that while umlaut’s testing in May and July 2022 used four different tests to determine whether consumers can successfully complete different tasks on the various carriers’ networks, ultimately, the National Advertising Division “could not determine with certainty that umlaut’s 5G Transaction Success Metric accurately measures task completion in a consumer-relevant way” and therefore was “is not a good fit for the reliability claim at issue.”

AT&T brought the case against T-Mo’s advertising, which laid claim to being the “most reliable 5G network”.

Rohde & Schwarz launched a new electromagnetic interference (EMI) test receiver, which it showcased at EMV 2023 in Stuttgart, Germany. The R&S EPL1000 can be used for certification measurements and also reduces uncertainty in pre-compliance measurements, the test company said.

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