5G NR Throughput Estimation

One of the most popular question that what will be my speed on 5G is explained comprehensively in this article/video, “5G NR Throughput Estimation – How much speed or data rate will I get on 5G.”

So, this video answers all the calculations and estimations required for 5G throughput calculation in a simple manner. It also shows our 5G Throughput Calculation Tool (5GTCal) as well in order to provide a feel of the 5G throughput and its relation with different factors.

5G NR Throughput Estimation – How much speed or data rate will I get on 5G?

Below are reference articles/videos for background understanding (if required) before watching 5G NR Throughput Estimation – How much speed or data rate will I get on 5G?

5G Frame Structure

5G Frequency and Time Domain Structure

The simplest way to estimate 5G Throughput is to calculate the maximum data rate carried by a single Resource Block into one slot.

For instance, on the right, we have a 30KHz example. In this case:

Number of Subcarriers = 12

Number of Symbols = 14

Symbols for Data = 11 (2 for DMRS and 1 for PDCCH)

Total Data Resource Elements = 12 x 11 = 132

Maximum Bits per Symbol = 7.4063 (256QAM)

Data carried in this Resource Block over one slot = 132 x 7.4063 = 977 Bits in 0.5ms

Now, lets say that the 5G Bandwidth is 100MHz

Number of Resource Blocks in 100MHz = 100,000KHz / 360KHz = 277 (273 are used, 4 RBs are used as guard)

Total Number of Slots available in one second = 1000 ms / 0.5ms = 2000 slots

Downlink Slots = 1600 (if DL/UL Ratio is 4:1) or 1500 (if DL/UL Ratio is 3:1)

Maximum Number of MIMO layers = 4

5G Throughput = 977 bits x 273 RBs x 1600 slots x 4 layers /1024/1024 = 1627 Mbps

A slight overhead is introduced in special slots where the Downlink changes to Uplink i.e. Slot-4 shown below

The Slot-4 has some symbols used for Guard Period which is used by both transmitter and receiver sides to shift from Tx to Rx and vice versa

It also has some symbols for uplink control channels like Sounding Reference Signals or SRS

Hence, the Slot-4 has 7 symbols used for data in this example and if we incorporate that overhead in our calculation then the throughput will be slightly lower as shown by the 5G Throughput Calculator Tool

5G NR Throughput Estimation

Note: These special slots can have different configurations and thus, different ratio between DL/UL/GP symbols is possible

As a reference, I am putting the 5G frequency and time domain structure details as well. Like LTE, the 5G frequency domain structure is made up of Resource Elements (REs). 12 Res in frequency domain constitute a Resource Block (RB). However, in LTE the RB is 12 sub-carriers x 7 symbols while in NR the RB is 12 sub-carriers but there is no time limit. Secondly, as LTE SCS is 15kHz so LTE RB is always 180kHz in frequency domain (12×15) but the NR SCS is flexible so the NR RB bandwidth can also vary accordingly e.g. in case of 30kHz SCS, the NR RB will be 360kHz (30×12). This also means that in case of a 20MHz channel, the LTE will have 100 RBs but the NR will only have 50 RBs.

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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 delivered and led a number of projects in different regions across the globe including Pakistan, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, Nigeria, Turkey and Oman. 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.

7 thoughts on “5G NR Throughput Estimation – How much speed or data rate will I get on 5G?”

  1. Hi Ali Khalid, I am a student in final year. I have a question about this equation:
    5G Throughput = 977 bits x 273 RBs x 1600 slots x 4 layers /1024/1024 = 1627 Mbps. Why we need to divide 1024 twice?
    The throughput equation that i found online is as below link:
    What is the different between this two equation? Could the Transport block size (TBS) affect the throughput? The FDD and TDD throughput calculation is different?

    In your example, how you get the Maximum Bits per Symbol = 7.4063 (256QAM)? It is from the 3GPP TS 38.214 version 15.3.0 Release 15, Table MCS index table 2 for PDSCH?

    Another question about the Signal to noise ratio, Interference Margin (IM) and SINR which is not relate to this website. How can I get the SNR, IM value for each MCS state in 3GPP TS 38.214 version 15.3.0 Release 15? Is there any calculation or equation that I can use to calculate SNR and IM? The 3GPP TS 38.214 version 15.3.0 Release 15 only give the target code rate and spectrum efficiency for each MCS. I have saw an example that using this equation to calculate the SINR.
    Then using the SINR and others to calculate the sensitivity.

    1. I divided twice by 1024 or 1000 to get Mbps from bits per second
      The calculation I showed is a simplistic version. The TBS version is more accurate.
      The SINR and IM for MCS is not straight-forward and you would not find this in the specs. You may be able to find CQI to MCS mapping though.

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