EXFO and Rohde & Schwarz accelerate mobile-network troubleshooting

Feb. 24, 2017

Munich, Germany. EXFO and Rohde & Schwarz have partnered together to provide test-and-measurement solutions for on-site commissioning, maintenance, and troubleshooting of mobile communications systems. EXFO and Rohde & Schwarz offer complementary solutions that combine optical and wireless technologies to significantly speed up and efficiently locate and eliminate RF interference.

In modern mobile network stations, RF equipment continues to shift closer to the antennas. The equipment is usually mounted just below the antenna in order to minimize cable loss. The interconnection between the RF equipment at the top of the tower and the baseband unit is bridged via fiber-optic cabling—thereby increasing the necessity for both fiber-to-the-antenna and over-the-air RF test-and-measurement technology.

The wireless spectrum is growing in complexity and becoming increasingly susceptible to interference, which is critical to quality of service. If a service disruption occurs within a base station’s coverage area, an RF technician must quickly identify and correct the issue so that it doesn’t impact subscriber quality of experience.

The combined solution from EXFO and Rohde & Schwarz empowers technicians to quickly and accurately troubleshoot RF interference issues and allows mobile network operators to minimize OPEX. EXFO’s OpticalRF over CPRI/OBSAI application, supported on the compact FTB-1 Pro test platform, can be connected at the baseband unit and remotely accessed via a mobile device to provide real-time RF spectrum views and to quickly detect RF signal interference. The R&S PR100 portable radio receiver and the R&S FPH or the R&S FSH spectrum analyzer from Rohde & Schwarz can be used to hunt and locate the interference in the field by providing a broad view of the spectrum, not only in the station’s operating band but also in the adjacent channels. Once the potential source has been found, RF interference mitigation techniques can be used and simultaneously validated on a mobile device to determine whether the issue has been resolved.

EXFO and Rohde & Schwarz are global network test and measurement companies in their respective fields. EXFO develops intelligent, automated network test, data, and analytics solutions, and Rohde & Schwarz develops wireless test-and-measurement technology. By leveraging the expertise of both companies, mobile network operators, installers, and network-service providers have access to harmonized solutions for a variety of measurement scenarios. As part of the cooperative effort, EXFO and Rohde & Schwarz have hosted several mobile network testing workshops and are planning other similar events in the future.

The RF test and measurement solutions from both EXFO and Rohde and Schwarz will be demonstrated at the EXFO booth and the Rohde & Schwarz booth at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from February 27 to March 2.

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