On the Performance of Alternative 5G Micro-Operator Deployments in 3.6 GHz and 26 GHz Bands

The fifth generation (5G) networks will increasingly target specific indoor deployments such as closed factory premises or open shopping malls for local providing of high-quality services. Local 5G network operator models, such as the newly proposed micro-operators, have gained increasing interest with guaranteed quality-of-service delivery, in spatially confined areas, especially inside the buildings. However, establishing local 5G networks with quality guarantees requires local spectrum access rights which are in the agendas of many national regulators. In this paper, we study the feasibility of indoor deployment of local 5G networks in two new 5G bands including 3.6 GHz and 26 GHz. We consider different deployment alternatives for a local 5G micro-operator in the bands with different antenna configurations and network densities. Then, we evaluate the impact of the different deployments on the performance of users via system level simulations of the average and cell-edge throughputs in downlink and uplink. Numerically, we have observed that the performance achieved in these two bands can be improved by increasing the base station (BS) density of the network. Furthermore, we have seen that the centre frequency does not significantly impact on the downlink performance unless the network is noise-limited. However, the uplink performance in the 26 GHz band is affected by the higher coupling losses between the BSs and the mobile terminals. We have also noticed that beamforming and wider channel bandwidths are useful for improving the network performance in 26 GHz band.