LTE+5G Spectrum and Expansion Strategy
In 2019, an operator needed to secure the data services QoE level while traffic continues to grow, but the operator was hesitant to further invest in LTE, as 5G spectrum would be licensed in 2020. 5G terminals are still to emerge, and many users still rely on 3G. The operator is unsure of the most effective strategy for the next 3 years. Does the LTE-1800/2600 capacity need expanding? Should the operator only focus on 5G-700/3600? Should the operator re-farm 3G-2100 to LTE? Or should the operator build more LTE sites?
Verify the optimal 3G/4G/5G RAN technology & spectrum strategy to both ensure targeted QoE improvements during the period 2020-2022, as well as minimising the RAN TCO during the transition.
Omnitele applied the QROI analytics to the network to optimise current spectrum assets, and determine the technology & spectrum strategy that secures the QoE targets with minimised RAN TCO.
Input data needed for the analysis
- OSS data from past two years
- QoE targets, available spectrum licenses
- Capex & Opex items for LTE & 5G
Analysis by Omnitele QROI model:
Step 1: Optimise the performance of existing network assets
- LTE traffic steering optimisation
- 2100MHz refarming to LTE
- Avg Thputs +60%, low Thputs -46%
Step 2: Predict 2020-2023 quality development with the exiting network assets period, as terminal base develops and traffic volumes grow.
- Cell Thput rises due to CA-migration
- Avg Thput drops 35% due to traffic growth
- Users < 10Mbps incease by 45%
Step 3: Quantify the required Capex to sustain the quality targets until 2023, with all alternative spectrum strategies.
- Scenario 1: LTE & 5G investments optimally combined
- Scenario 2: LTE investments only (1800+2600+new sites)
- Scenario 3: 5G investments only (700+3600+new sites)
By optimally combining LTE & 5G investments in the coming years, operator can save 50-60% in Capex compared to single-technology strategy.
Output of the project:
4-year RAN strategy with sector level action plan to ensure long term quality targets and to maximise RAN Capex efficiency.
- Capex free LTE traffic steering & LTE2100 Refarming
- LTE expansions in 26% of sites
- 5G 700 & 3600 expansions in 30% of sites
- Increase site-count by 4%
Operator benefits from the project
- LTE & 5G spectrum strategy verified
- 5G spectrum valuated for license tender
- RAN investment plan quantified until 2022
- Confidence in securing quality targets for the next 3 years
- +40% Capex-free QoE improvement
- Future QoE secured despite heavy traffic growth
- -22 % in yearly planning & O&M
- -28 % in 3-year LTE/5G RAN expansions