Rohde & Schwarz showcases 5G test solutions at Super Mobility 2016

September 2, 2016  - By
Image: GPS World

Rohde & Schwarz is highlighting its 5G test solutions in booth No. 5128 at CTIA Super Mobility 2016, which is being held Sept. 6-9 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The company’s test and measurement solutions are helping researchers define and characterize 5G before commercialization.

Rohde & Schwarz has enhanced its proven test solution platforms to include advanced capabilities that are facilitating the research, development and standardization of 5G, the company says in a news release. The fifth generation of mobile radio will open up new frequency bands for commercial wireless communications in the microwave and millimeter wave ranges to increase date rates on a massive scale. To implement 5G, new areas are being investigated, including Massive MIMO, millimeter wave communications and complex channel models.

“The standards that will define 5G have yet to be outlined. However, it is clear that new technologies and new frequency bands will be required to meet the needs of enhanced mobile broadband,” Lifang Kirchgessner, vice president, wireless communications market segment, says in the news release. “Currently, many researchers are focused on developing new antenna technologies for Massive MIMO systems, studying channel characteristics and characterizing components up to millimeter wave, all of which will require high performance and flexible test and measurement solutions to advance 5G technologies. Rohde & Schwarz is pleased to offer industry-leading 5G test solutions that are helping to shape and standardize the next generation of wireless communications.”

To meet the more than a thousand improvements in capacity, and to achieve ever higher data rates, Massive MIMO antenna systems that use hundreds of antenna elements are being planned for 5G, the company says. In these systems, the radio is combined with the antenna resulting in few or no RF test ports, which requires over-the-air (OTA) measurements to characterize the systems.

To expedite the tests, Rohde & Schwarz has developed a flexible near field measurement technique that allows continuous sampling on arbitrary grids, decreasing the measurement time in the near field by a factor of 40 compared to stepped measurements, according to the company. Rohde & Schwarz offers bench top and production far field measurement systems for devices being investigated between 28 gigahertz and 90 gigahertz.

The R&S ZNBT 24-port vector network analyzer is being used to measure the mutual coupling between antenna elements, which reduces overall system capacity so that 5G antenna engineers can determine the optimal distance between antenna elements in Massive MIMO systems. This solution can be extended up to 288 ports using the R&S ZN-Z84 switch matrix.

Fundamental to 5G research today, frequencies from RF through millimeter wave are required. For RF through millimeter wave signal analysis and generation, the R&S FSW signal and spectrum analyzer, R&S SMW200A vector signal generator, are suitable to deliver the performance and flexibility required in an R&D environment. The R&S SMW200A is the only microwave signal generator on the market to combine a baseband generator and RF generator with fading, AWGN, Massive MIMO and mm-wave MIMO capabilities in a single box, according to R&S. A new option for the R&S FSW, the R&S®FSW-B2000, extends the analysis bandwidth to 2 gigahertz.

Rohde & Schwarz also has developed the industry’s first commercial test solution for 5G channel sounding. The R&S TS-5GCS test setup combines the new R&S TS-5GCS channel sounding software with the R&S®FSW signal and spectrum analyzer and R&S SMW200A vector signal generator. This setup supports development of applications requiring complex multichannel scenarios up to 40 gigahertz, allowing users to conveniently measure channels in the new 5G frequency bands in the centimeter and millimeter ranges.

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