Pivotal’s 5G Test Lab
by Andjela Ilic-Savoia, Technical Engagement Manager
Pivotal followers know about its mmWave product ecosystem: WaveScape, Pivot 5G, Echo 5G and Intelligent Beam Management System (IBMS). As these products emerged from development, Pivotal needed a place to test them working together. That place encompasses a gNB and surrounding buildings. We call it “The Lab”. What Pivotal accomplishes there applies to what we do every day.
Start with WaveScape
The Lab exemplifies how Pivotal brings gNB capacity beyond the gNB’s own line-of-sight (LOS). WaveScape network analysis showed that while all the hotel windows facing the gNB in Figure 1 had adequate signal coverage, none of those facing the street did. This fact was confirmed in Figure 1 by the red flight path of a drone mounted with a mmWave smartphone.
WaveScape showed Pivotal engineers where to place a Pivot within the gNB’s LOS to redirect the gNB’s coverage and capacity to all the room windows along the street. Figure 2 shows the Pivot’s location and predicted coverage to the hotel.
WaveScape’s predicted coverage was confirmed by another drone flyby of signal measurements at every window. See Figure 3.
Gently Flood with Echo and Monitor with IBMS
Next, Pivotal rented a room at the hotel to take interior signal measurements. Recall that the Pivot brings adequate signal to every window. Just not beyond it. The Echo 5G catches that signal from the Pivot and, with a gentle push, floods it through the dual-pane standard glass and into the entire unit. Without the Echo, signals either don’t penetrate the glass or just bounce off it. For the signals that do manage to penetrate, indoor coverage is typically limited to a wedge that ends a few feet inside the room. The Echo overcomes this “structural shadowing” by gently flooding the space with signal.
Figure 4 (left) shows downlink throughput when the Echo is turned off: zero. When the Echo is turned on in Figure 4 (right), downlink throughput exceeds 1 Gbps in the green area, and ranges from 700 Mbps to 1 Gbps in the yellow-green area. The performance and health of the Pivot and Echo are continually monitored by Pivotal’s cloud-based Intelligent Beam Management System (IBMS).
Testing the Metaverse
Besides testing new products, Pivotal uses The Lab for other purposes. With over a Gigabit of low-latency throughput, the rented hotel room, for example, serves as a Metaverse test site for emerging edge-compute applications like console-quality gaming on the go. The Lab offers installation testing relative to similar buildings like multiple dwelling units. You can read more about and view Pivotal’s product ecosystem here or watch the video below: