OpenRF Working Group Investigating 5G User Power Profiles to Improve Handset Battery Life

The Open RF Association has started a project within the Hardware Working Group to create a 5G user power profiles study designed to help our members optimize their devices for 5G so that they can help improve end users’ battery life.

With the introduction of 5G, there have been a lot of significant changes in the industry in terms of complexity and getting the products right. 5G use cases are very different now and the challenges have grown – from the vast amount of data used in 5G, to uplink streaming and operation in dense urban areas. 5G has also introduced a lot of new bands, like the C-band that’s operating at 3.5 gigahertz. While the standards and architectures are being established, real-world data on how phones perform in a growing number of use cases are needed.

In the mid-2000s, the industry began using a standard called the CDG curve, published by the CDMA Development Group, to better understand how much data and power an average user was consuming for a variety of different use cases. These curves were a probability distribution of the average user. We found that, in real-world environments, the average user doesn’t use max power for a variety of reasons, such as distance from the base station or how much data they were consuming.

The CDG curve played a vital role in helping the industry adapt to and ultimately thrive on the changes that came with 3G and 4G. Using this information, the industry was better able to reconfigure the front end, fundamentally changing the architecture of the amplifiers and the radio controls to optimize performance. The benefit of these probability curves helped improve operators’ OPEX as well as improved talk time for the end-user.

Unfortunately, there has never been a replication of the CDG curve for 5G. OpenRF believes a new study of 5G user’s power profiles can deliver the same type of value the original CDG curves supplied.

Last quarter, OpenRF released phase one of the user curve study to our members. We want to start the study and, over time, build upon the data as more members and operators are willing to share their information. The goal is to provide this power curve information to our members so they can optimize their devices for 5G just like they did for 4G.

If your company is interested in helping the OpenRF association and its members add to this power profile study and share real-world baseline transmitter performance, please contact us to learn more about how you can contribute data.