A sizeable network operator have conducted a systematic evaluation of three key antenna vendors, including Ericsson. The methodology consisted of structured drive tests, where the performance of each antenna was analyzed given different power consumption settings.
The relationship between performance and energy consumption
Highly efficient antennas provide a critical role across your radio networks. It can help you save energy consumption with reduced input power, while maintaining similar coverage and user experience as a less efficient antenna. With the same power settings, it would instead provide better coverage, user experience and help you accelerate your network expansion more efficiently.
Much of Ericsson's antenna efficiency is driven through its beam design, e.g. the ability to accurately radiate its signals to the areas where its most needed, with as little redundancies as possible.
Well ahead of competition
The results from the benchmark study highlight that Ericsson Antenna System perform significantly better than the other vendors tested. It should be noted that only mid-band frequencies were evaluated, which means that any additional energy savings associated with low-band frequencies are excluded. In addition, the operator conducting the study also identified a number of TCO savings throughout the benchmarking process. These savings have not been quantified, but could imply even further cost advantages when choosing the Ericsson Antenna System over competitors.
Untapped potential in power reductions in 700/800/900 MHz layer
DL user throughput
UL user throughput
Through quality, installation simplicity, wind load reductions and supply chain reliability
Benchmark study details
Prioritized antenna vendors were evaluated
One of Ericsson’s multivendor customers evaluated three of its key antenna suppliers in real-life conditions. The test aimed to quantify differences in antenna efficiency and understand its implications on energy savings and network performance.
Based on production test specifications, Vendor A was expected to perform worst, while Vendor B was expected to outperform both Ericsson and Vendor A. The reality told a different story.
Specified vendors and KPIs for evaluation
Run the drive tests to ensure like-for-like comparison
The study was conducted in real-life conditions, at the same location, over the course of 5 months. Theoretical energy savings based on data sheet specifications are not sufficient as they do not cover all the antenna impacts in network. Four steps defined by the operator:
Monitored KPIs throughout the evaluation
Analyzed and compiled final benchmark results
Drive tests with stepwise power reductions
Evaluation was driven through stepwise reductions in power consumption for Ericsson and Vendor B. Results were then analysed in comparison with Vendor A (benchmark).
The first batch of results compared each antenna at their equivalent reference power. The second batch of results compared Ericsson and Vendor B with at their maximum power reduction compared to Vendor A (benchmark).
Each specification and antenna pair was tested during 1-week sequences, and only mid-band frequencies were tested. Low-band tests would most certainly imply even greater savings through the Ericsson Antenna System.
Detailing the results
The results below showcase the performance throughout the drive tests for each antenna at its maximum power reduction. It highlights the strong performance of Ericsson Antenna System, that overperform its peers across every scenario and within almost every timeframe. Note that site energy consumption needs to be analyzed together with Data Traffic (DL and UL) and PRB utilization to account for changing traffic patterns.