LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) took an important step forward with the verification of Release 10 LTE-A protocols. It was made possible by a new LTE-A chipset emerging from a collaboration between UK wireless test equipment specialist Anite and Shenzhen-based ARM SoC manufacturer HiSilicon.
One of the proclaimed advantages of LTE-A is its ability to exploit advanced topology networks. Industry observers believe the next significant performance leap in wireless networks will come from making the most of such networks. LTE-A also will facilitate the use of ultra-wide bandwidth, up to 100 MHz of the spectrum, thereby supporting very high data rates.
Anite maintains that features within its testing solutions enabled the development of LTE-A products in line with market requirements. In fact, these solutions were used to verify HiSilicon’s new chipset Balong720—claimed to be the first LTE Cat6 platform that supports 20 MHz + 20 MHz carrier aggregation.
The Anite/HiSilicon collaboration also resulted in verification of new 3GPP RAN5 LTE-A CA protocol conformance test cases, using Anite’s Conformance Toolset. Importantly, more than half of all TD-LTE test-case verification submissions to 3GPP RAN5 have come from Anite using HiSilicon products.
In another collaboration, Samsung and German test specialists Rohde & Schwarz (R&S) say they achieved a first in verifying LTE Auplink carrier aggregation.
The companies successfully tested and verified the Release 10 feature—uplink carrier aggregation. A Samsung internal test device coupled with a Samsung SHANNON300 modem chipset as the device under test (DUT) was tested with an LTE-Advanced-ready R&S CMW500 wideband radio communication tester.
They reached a significant milestone in the commercial implementation of LTE-Advanced by successfully verifying uplink carrier aggregation in the real form factor. The tested Samsung DUT, a 6.3-in. real-form-factor test device, supports two transmissions with a single SHANNON300 baseband chipset. The end result: The SHANNON300 becomes the first LTE-Advanced ASIC chipset to verify uplink carrier aggregation.
However, commercial devices with two transmission antennas remain a design challenge. In the future, uplink carrier aggregation and uplink MIMO will be required for the throughput of wireless Internet communication, such as multimedia upload to cloud servers.
R&S claims the CMW500 is the first test platform to offer both Release 10 reference implementation for downlink carrier aggregation and a verified implementation to test uplink carrier aggregation in LTE-FDD. This is crucial because designers in the mobile-device market would be able to perform protocol and performance tests on chipsets and devices supporting LTE-Advanced uplink carrier aggregation.
The system can test handsets in all 3GPP-defined bands and bandwidth combinations. To verify the throughput in downlink and uplink, real end-to-end data connections are set up to the built-in IP servers. It doesn’t matter what’s used in the handset, be it TD-LTE or LTE-FDD.
AT4 Wireless Test Labs
Staying with the testing theme, Anite says that AT4 wireless, an international network of testing laboratories, selected its SAS interoperability and performance test solution for advanced and rapid LTE device verification related to operator acceptance schemes.
AT4 wireless is a network of testing laboratories offering services for carrier device acceptance, performance, conformance, regulatory, field, functional and interoperability testing. It also offers worldwide compliance and type approval consulting in over 200 countries.
One key service provided by AT4 is product certification to international standards. It uses Anite’s SAS to test devices according to test cases defined by leading global mobile operators. This ensures devices operate as intended on individual networks prior to launch, and ultimately helps improve end-user satisfaction. SAS, which features an intuitive user interface, is recognized for supporting a large number of Tier-1 operator device acceptance programs.