(Sharing) 5G signal quality parameters

Zyxel_AL Posts: 20  Freshman Member

5G signal quality parameters

What are the 5G signal levels and what should be the optimal values?

In the 5G modem web configurator on the NR7101 for example, navigate into System Monitor > Cellular info page, you can view the current state of the connection.

To determine the quality of the signal, pay attention to the following fields:
- Signal strength
- Access Technology
- Cell ID & Physical Cell ID


The following table shows the different values of these parameters, which correspond to very poor (Cell Edge), poor (Mid Cell), good (Good) and very good (Excellent) signal quality:

Next, we briefly explain each parameter that determines the quality of the signal.

Signal strength
The signal strength value indicates the level of the signal received by the modem. These values correspond to the RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indication) readings of the connection. The value is measured in dBm (dBm). Additional information on the RSSI indicator can be found in the article: “Signal Quality Indicators in mobile Modems”

RSRP (Reference Signal Received Power) - the average power of the received pilot signals (Reference Signal) or the level of the received signal from the Base Station. The RSRP value is measured in dBm (dBm). The signal strength of the modem can also be determined using the SIGNAL STRENGTH indicators on the top panel of the device. The maximum level correspond to the three burning indicators. If no indicator is lit, then the signal strength is insufficient to connect to the network. With RSRP = -120 dBm and below, the connection may be unstable or not installed at all.

RSRQ (Reference Signal Received Quality) - characterizes the quality of the received pilot signals. The RSRQ value is measured in dB (dB).

SINR (Signal Interference + Noise Ratio) also called CINR (Carrier to Interference + Noise Ratio) is the ratio of the signal level to the noise level (or simply the signal-to-noise ratio). The SINR value is measured in dB (dB). It's simple: the higher the value, the better the signal quality. At SINR values below 0, the connection speed will be very low, since This means that there is more noise in the received signal than the useful part, and the probability of losing a connection also exists.

Access Technology
This determines what kind of connection technology the device currently uses, there are a few main technologies used; 3G, LTE, NSA, and SA. NSA is a combination of LTE and 5G and SA is the "pure" 5G. With NSA and SA usually, NR stands in front of this.
  1. The “Non-Stand Alone” (NSA) architecture, where the 5G Radio Access Network (AN) and its New Radio (NR) interface is used in conjunction with the existing LTE and EPC infrastructure Core Network (respectively 4G Radio and 4G Core), thus making the NR technology available without network replacement. In this configuration, only the 4G services are supported, but enjoying the capacities offered by the 5G New Radio (lower latency, etc). The NSA is also known as “E-UTRA-NR Dual Connectivity (EN-DC)” or “Architecture Option 3”.
  2. The “Stand-Alone” (SA) architecture, where the NR is connected to the 5G.
  3. Only in this configuration, the full set of 5G Phase 1 services are supported. 

Cell ID & Physical Cell ID
These stand for the physical cell ID the device is connected to, in some cases, you might want to connect to a specific mast that is further away than the closer one to have a less crowded mast. The information on this can be usually obtained from the ISP.


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