Performance Comparison of Alternative Indoor 5G Micro-Operator Deployments in 3.6 GHz and 26 GHz Bands

The fifth generation (5G) networks will provide local high-quality wireless services, especially within indoor areas. New local 5G network operator models, such as the recently introduced micro-operators, are increasingly important for vertical specific service delivery. The emergence of 5G micro-operator networks in spatially confined areas depends on local spectrum availability. In this paper, we investigate the performance of local 5G indoor micro-operator networks in the 3.6-GHz and 26-GHz bands. We consider two uncoordinated time-division duplex networks in adjacent buildings sharing the same channel with different base station antenna configurations and deployment densities. We evaluate the resulting performance of the victim network via system simulations. We have observed that the center frequency does not significantly impact the downlink performance unless the network is noise-limited. However, the uplink performance in 26-GHz band is affected by higher coupling losses between the base stations and mobile terminals. Our results indicate that beamforming and wider bandwidths help to improve the performance in 26-GHz band. More importantly, two indoor micro-operators can successfully coexist with a very small separation distance in the 26-GHz band, while in the 3.6-GHz band, a considerably larger isolation between the networks is required, for example, in the form of a much larger separation distance.