Receiving Antenna Alignment in Hexagonal Grid Simulations: A Study for LTE-based 5G Terrestrial Broadcast

Tech Review 2020

EBU members have been collaborating with the mobile industry to make the enhanced Multicast Broadcast Multimedia Service defined in the 3GPP mobile communication system standards more suitable for delivering broadcasters’ content.

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The collaboration has so far been very fruitful, with eMBMS being further evolved in the Enhanced TV (enTV) Work Item of Long-Term Evolution (LTE) Release 14 (Rel-14) specifications. Rel-16 has further enhanced eMBMS with greater support for conventional broadcasting in 5G Broadcast.

3GPP makes extensive use of Monte Carlo based network simulations in order to evaluate the benefits of any potential enhancements before they are standardised. The enTV Work Item permitted the simulations to use several different methodologies for the alignment of directional receiving antennas to transmitter sites and for determining which signals are permitted to contribute to the useful signal.

This article investigates several different methodologies that are commonly used in these two aspects of the simulations and, using 5G broadcast as an example, illustrates how the different methodologies affect the results. Detailed worked examples are also provided for clarity.