Spirent channel emulators help manufacturers and operators deliver higher data rates and better Quality of Experience (QoE)
Testing and measurement firm Spirent Communications today said it has been included in the list of MIMO Authorized Equipment List for CTIA’s Test Plan for 2×2 Downlink MIMO and Transmit Diversity over-the-air performance, version 1.1.
The CTIA Test Plan focuses on evaluating the performance characteristics of wireless Multiple-Input-Multiple-Output (MIMO) devices, which are highly prevalent in LTE networks and increasingly important as the industry moves toward 5G. Release of the Equipment List is the next step in preparing global test labs to obtain CTIA certification, a crucial part of the process toward mandating the new standard.
Over-the Air (OTA) testing is essential for MIMO devices because throughput, and therefore Quality of Experience (QoE), depends on antenna performance in realistic propagation environments. MIMO OTA offers several advantages vs. traditional cable testing by providing a more complete view of device performance, accounting for additional factors such as physical housing and nearby components. As antenna counts grow, it also becomes increasingly unwieldy to use cabled test setups. MIMO OTA creates a unique spatial signature to replicate realistic propagation scenarios in a controlled environment for comprehensive performance testing. The CTIA Test Plan recommends the test methodologies necessary to achieve this environment and the performance indicators for key characteristics such as antenna efficiency, branch imbalance, and correlation between antennas.
Spirent’s channel emulators are part of the CTIA-authorized solution along with the ETS-Lindgren anechoic chamber.
“ETS-Lindgren’s multi probe anechoic chamber works hand-in-hand with Spirent’s MIMO OTA channel emulators to address the requirements necessary for the CTIA MIMO OTA Test Plan. With this combined solution in place, global test labs can support device manufacturers and operators with a CTIA approved test methodology to ensure a superior QoE for their wireless MIMO devices,” said Roger Hatch, senior director for Solutions Development at ETS-Lindgren.
Rob Van Brunt, general manager for Spirent Communications’ Connected Devices business, which helped pioneer MIMO OTA testing during its inception in 2011, commented “Spirent has long supported MIMO OTA test implementations and continues to lead the industry with technology advancements such as the introduction of 4xN MIMO OTA testing. This is key as more chipset vendors and OEMs have been moving from two to four receive antennas in their devices. At the same time, we’re keeping a strong focus on features designed to simplify the testing process, such as our exclusive real-time fading engine, which allows users to dynamically alter test parameters mid-run vs. being tethered to rigid scripting. We’re pleased to achieve CTIA authorization for our Vertex and VR5 channel emulators and look forward to continuing our work with ETS to offer innovative OTA test solutions for 5G and other industry needs.”
Spirent is an industry-recognized leader across the entire span of OTA testing, with support for both A-GNSS and MIMO OTA test solutions and long-term partnerships with chamber manufacturers and test labs. For more information on MIMO OTA test methodologies, reference Spirent’s white paper entitled, Ensuring MIMO Device Performance with Over-the-Air Testing.