Test & Measurement

Laboratory environment suits5G radio test set

25th October 2017
Mick Elliott

As the telecom industry continues to develop specifications for the upcoming 5G rollout-one thing is clear-millimeter wave (20 to 40 GHz and beyond) will play a major role in 5G. The advantages to millimeter wave technology-bandwidth and latency--far outweigh the only identified disadvantage--propagation loss.

Currently, 5G prototypes are being verified via air interfaces at different distances. Due to day-to-day changes in weather, these tests are extremely unreliable because impairments such as weather cannot be repeated.

To answer this challenge, and deal with propagation loss, the Eastern OptX 2400+ 5G Radio Test Set provides repeatable range simulations at various distances in a laboratory environment.

This system works from 20 to >40GHz with selectable range of zero to one mile in five-foot steps. Attenuation is set on each distance based nature's own "range formula".

These propagation simulators have the ability to add such impairments as rain, temperature effects, multipath, and other competing interfering signals.

Additional systems are available from Eastern OptX that can provide up to 50 miles of range with 5-foot resolution, although 5G will probably only require a one mile maximum at a few feet of resolution.

The Eastern OptX 2400+ is not a signal emulator.

The systems use low-loss fiber optic cable to create the propagation delay associated with radio transmissions from 20 to 40GHz.

Eastern OptX has been supplying Propagation Simulators for radar and wireless applications for over 15 years. Eastern OptX now provides a system that replicates the air interface that the millimeter wave radio will see in the real world. 

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