It’s a new era for Telcos. Network operators historically have dealt with different vendor technologies within their national network by a geographical split, for example the south vendor A and the north vendor B. Now, with the move towards Open Radio Access Networks (ORANs), operators and integrators need to test all this technology to ensure it works together before it goes into the live commercial network. At its simplest, ORANs are a more open architecture than previously offered. They have the potential to improve innovation, competition, network flexibility and reduce network cost.
But this doesn’t come without challenges for example:
1. Concerns over the wide range of components being used by different vendors.
How do you deliver the best possible service when optimizing the configuration?
2. Another major challenge is once the technology has been deployed, when a
problem arises who solves it and how do you do this?
Release 1 of Spectrum Control’s RF Testbed series addresses these challenges and more with our six RF Testbeds that cover certification, throughput, multipath, handover, mesh connectivity, and hybrid for wrap-around conductive RF testing. Covering vendor pairing evaluations to validate the function, performance, robustness and resilience of specific combinations, and compliance testing against relevant standards. These new RF Testbeds will help research, product development, prototyping, and manufacturing to predict device and network performance when used in the real world, assuring they get their product to market on-time and on budget – and faster than the competition.
Our RF Testbeds are also relevant to the latest additions to the Wi-Fi standard, Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E. Several of the underlying technologies powering these new networks are very similar to, or in some cases even the same as, ones used for 5G networks. With a conductive RF Testbed system, the energy within even a complex multi-port device can be accurately measured at each port. This enables accurate characterization of the network element or device’s behavior.
Our conductive RF Testbed enables testing of individual sub-circuits, components, or even individual devices within a complex radio system. Non-destructive conductive testing can even be done using probes, solderable test connectors or test ports built into the RF board. Given that test signals are intrinsically shielded within the Spectrum Control RF Testbed, external shielding during testing is not usually required, and a very small
test footprint can be achieved. The Ingredients for RF Testbed Design publication is a short preview of our Cookbook for RF Testbed Design, where there is more detail as to how to build a Wi-Fi or 5G RF Testbed to meet the needs of new radio technologies considering what and how tests are performed.