How to calculate LTE throughput

LTE throughput calculator


The post presents the simplest way how to calculate LTE throughput. The following calculations are made for user data bit rates on IP layer (including IP headers and LTE overhead, i.e. real user bit rate will be a bit lower). LTE throughput depends on the following parameters:
Let's consider each of them in more details.

Throughput calculation

To calculate LTE throughput the following steps should be performed:
  1. Define bandwidth. It can be 1.4, 3, 5, 10, 15 or 20 MHz. Then map it to a number of Resource Blocks using the table above.
  2. Choose/define radio link quality. To calculate throughput we need to know MCS Index. MCS Index depends on CQI. However association between MCS Index and CQI is vendor specific. The following table can be used to choose MCS Index.

    MCS Index association with modulation and TBS Index

    where TBS means Transport Block Size. It's a number of bits which can be transmitted per 1 TTI (=1ms).
  3. The last step is to take a look at Transport Block Size table to determine how many bits can be transmitted per 1 TTI and multiply it by 1000 to get bps.
LTE throughput calculator


Let's assume there is a single UE, 20 MHz bandwidth and ideal radio conditions (to get peak throughput), then
Number of RBs = 100
MCS Index = 28 and TBS Index = 26

Based on that TBS = 75376 bits. Throughput = 75376 * 1000 = 75.376 Mbps. Assuming MIMO 2x2 we will get 75.376*2 = 150.752 Mbps. Please note there are additional TBS tables for MIMO cases defined in 3GPP specs.

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