5G Beam Sweeping

In this post, we will discuss 5G Beam Sweeping & SSB Beams.

In 5G, SSB is the broadcast channel used by the UE to estimate RSRP and thus, it is used for all access related and mobility related decisions. Some implementations have single SSB while others have multiple SSBs and in case of multiple SSBs, the concept of Beam Sweeping comes into play. This session explains that concept and how it works.

Reference: 3GPP TR 38.802

5G Beam Sweeping & SSB Beams

5G beam sweeping refers to a technique used in 5G wireless communication systems to improve signal coverage and capacity. In 5G networks, multiple antenna arrays are used to transmit and receive signals, allowing for beamforming.

Beamforming is a method where the antenna arrays focus the transmission and reception of signals in specific directions, maximizing signal strength and quality. Beam sweeping is an extension of beamforming that involves dynamically changing the direction of the beams over time.

The process of 5G beam sweeping typically involves the following steps:

  1. Initial beamforming: The base station uses beamforming techniques to establish initial communication with a user device. This involves determining the optimal beam direction based on the device’s location and channel conditions.
  2. Beam sweeping: After the initial beamforming, the base station continuously adjusts the beam direction to track the user device’s movement or changing channel conditions. This is done by periodically scanning different beam directions to find the strongest signal path.
  3. Beam selection: Once the optimal beam direction is determined, the base station selects the best beam for transmitting and receiving data. The selected beam provides the highest signal quality and throughput for the user device.

The benefits of 5G beam sweeping include improved coverage, reduced interference, and increased capacity. By dynamically adjusting the beam direction, 5G networks can adapt to changing environmental conditions and user mobility, ensuring a more reliable and efficient wireless connection.

It’s important to note that the specific implementation of 5G beam sweeping may vary among different network equipment manufacturers and operators. The techniques and algorithms used for beamforming and beam sweeping can be customized to suit the requirements of a particular network deployment.

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Ali Khalid

5G NR | VoLTE | LTE-A | Massive MIMO | NB-IoT | NDO Network Specialist at Ericsson, Australia
Ali Khalid is a Senior LTE/VoLTE RNPO, NB-IoT and 5G Solution Architect who has successfully led and delivered a number of projects in different regions across the globe including Pakistan, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, Oman, KSA, Nigeria, Turkey, Poland and Japan. He is currently working in Strategic Competence Unit (SCU), a highly experienced global team at Ericsson, Australia. In case of any questions or feedback, please feel free to drop a comment below or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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