Rohde & Schwarz expands test for 5G base stations

Rohde & Schwarz expands test for 5G base stations

New Products |
By Wisse Hettinga

These include an OTA test system with frontend modules specifically for the 5G FR2 range and a system for speed-optimized tests of 5G base stations. Both are ideal for use in production. There is also a new, innovative test setup that allows developers to perform cross-channel measurements with up to 4×4 MIMO in the FR1 range.


Customized FR2 OTA tests

For over-the-air (OTA) tests on 5G base stations in the FR2 range, Rohde & Schwarz is launching a unique system based on the FE44 frontend modules, which support signal generation and analysis in the lower-frequency IF band. This enables low-loss transmission of 5G signals and the use of cost-effective T&M instruments by avoiding the need for equipment designed for the millimeterwave range. The SMW200A vector signal generator generates the 5G signals, and the FSVA3000 provides the right analysis functions. Both are ideal for 5G tests thanks to their excellent RF characteristics. The frontend modules can be mounted near the antennas of the DUT on the OTA test chamber.

In the transmit direction, the 5G signals generated in the IF band by the SMW200A are upconverted to the FR2 range up to 44 GHz. This ensures that the high output power is generated exactly where it is needed. On the receive side, the FE44A converts the FR2 signal at the antenna inputs down to the IF band and sends it with low attenuation losses to the FSVA3000 for analysis. This system is suitable for test systems in production.

Server based production tests

For speed-optimized production tests of 5G base stations, Rohde & Schwarz has developed a scalable, high-performance server based testing analysis platform. The SMBV100B vector signal generator and the FSVA3000 spectrum analyzer are used as RF test systems. The powerful QuickStep test executive software is used to automatically control the test setup and verify test results. The setup uses a 10 Gigabit Ethernet network, where the combination of the server based approach and parallel processing enables extremely high measurement speeds. The infrastructure consists of commercially available components. The combination of the MBV100B and the R&S FSVA3000 is also ideal for flexible testing of WLAN, cellular and IoT components and devices in R&D, verification and production.

Cross-channel measurements with up to 4×4 MIMO

Rohde & Schwarz also offers a new test system for base stations and small cells that enables cross-channel measurements up to 4×4 MIMO on 5G transmissions in the FR1 range. The system consists of the SMW200A signal generator, two SGT100A vector RF sources, the RTP164 high-performance oscilloscope used as a measuring receiver, and the 5G analysis options of the VSE vector signal explorer software running on a laptop.

The SMW200A generates the 3GPP-compliant 5G test signals, which can be transmitted on up to four channels using the two additional vector RF sources. The oscilloscope provides phase coherent acquisition of all four signals, a basic prerequisite for cross-channel measurements. The integrated hardware-accelerated digital downconverter of the RTP164 mixes the signals down to the baseband in real time. The VSE software performs measurements in line with 3GPP specifications. Users can also perform MIMO-specific measurements and flexibly compile the test results. The system is suitable for tests during the development and verification of 5G base stations.

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