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Bluetest and Spirent Deliver MIMO OTA Test Solution

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 9:32am
Steve Fiore, SS|PR

Sunnyvale, CA – Spirent Communications (UK) has announced their collaboration with Bluetest (Sweden) to deliver an integrated test solution that provides unprecedented accuracy and reliability for MIMO Over-The-Air (OTA) throughput testing. North American operators have developed their own MIMO OTA test plans and are requiring immediate support for evaluating the performance of this critical technology in next-generation LTE devices.  

Multiple Input and Multiple Output (MIMO), is the use of multiple antennas (at both the transmitting and receiving end) and is vital to fully realizing the improved communications promised by LTE and LTE Advanced. Mobile operators worldwide are upgrading their networks with MIMO technology to deliver on the demand for higher data rates, greater coverage areas, and lower operational costs. Although standards bodies are still defining MIMO OTA test standards for the industry, leading operators are moving ahead and requiring conformance to their MIMO OTA test plans now.

“Our close partnership with Spirent was a deliberate move to produce the most dependable and comprehensive MIMO OTA test system in response to leading operators’ MIMO OTA test requirements,” said Kjell Olovsson, Bluetest CEO. “Spirent’s VR5 Channel Emulator integrated with our Reverberation Test System allows us to create a wider range of reference environments in the lab and accurately validate LTE data throughput under challenging MIMO conditions.”

The performance of MIMO is especially sensitive to the system design in a wireless device. The many interactions between antennas, case design, RF modules, chipsets, and firmware make a dramatic difference in a highly efficient product capable of high data throughput rates. OTA testing is where these interactions first become apparent and  where designers really start to see the full system performance. The reverberation chamber provides a dynamic free-space reference environment upon which wireless channel emulators apply real-world spatial channel models. This enables the user to precisely characterize how well a mobile device with MIMO receives signals and operates in an environment with these real-world spatial properties.

“Being first to apply the reverb chamber to wireless testing, Bluetest is well recognized as an industry leader in OTA testing methodology,” said Dave Garrison, Spirent’s Senior Director of Wireless Product Development. “Bluetest’s years of experience deliver a higher degree of accuracy and reliability, and their selection of Spirent’s VR5 Channel Emulator confirms our shared commitment to support the industry’s urgent need to validate MIMO performance on next generation devices.”  

This MIMO OTA solution integrates Bluetest’s RTS60 Reverberation Test System with Spirent’s VR5 Spatial Channel Emulator. The RTS60 provides a rich environment for fast, easy and realistic performance measurements on MIMO devices and is backed by Bluetest’s years of experience in OTA reverberation measurement technology. Spirent’s VR5 is a spatial channel emulator that delivers unprecedented ease of use for testing MIMO devices and base-stations in the complex RF environments used in LTE and LTE-Advanced.

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