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Aeroflex gets LTE-ready

Posted: 03 Jun 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:LTE? mobile test? 3GPP TM500?

From Aeroflex comes the TM500 LTE test mobile designed to address the challenges of 3GPP LTE (3G Long Term Evolution) network infrastructure development test and rollout. The TM500 LTE's extensive Layer 1, Layer 2 and higher layer test features provide complete visibility into even the lowest layers of the radio modem by generating the detailed diagnostic data needed for engineers to verify the required functionality and optimize network operation and performance, says Aeroflex.

"LTE is based on a set of high-level requirements designed to deliver improved, high spectrum efficiency and coverage, but at a reduced cost per bit for both operators and users compared to 3G," said Evan Gray, TM500 manager, Aeroflex test solutions, wireless division. "Although LTE is designed as an evolutionary upgrade to existing networks, instead of using W-CDMA technology, it adopts the OFDM transmission scheme on the downlink and SC-FDMA (Single Carrier Frequency Division Multiple Access) on the uplink in order to provide flexible resource assignment. Furthermore, MIMO technology and higher order modulation (64QAM) are employed to improve the received signal strength and capacity needed to achieve the high rates and improved coverage. This represents a significant radio access technology shift, the deployment of which is a major challenge. Consequently, it is critical to have test equipment specifically oriented to LTE that can provide the new UE functionality as well as visibility of the physical and higher layer operation of the LTE radio access network components."

The TM500 LTE incorporates test, logging and measurement features at all layers of the protocol. This includes advanced MIMO tests to verify that the network appropriately handles the MIMO related signaling and correctly applies the MIMO modes, which can be realized with or without the need for an external fading simulator. Graphical displays and charts give a visualization of the signal quality and the system status enabling engineers to quickly characterize and isolate problems. It is also possible to override signaling, or even force data corruption, to enable simulation of abnormal conditions in order to test the system response and robustness or expose difficult problems, says Aeroflex.

In addition, the TM500 LTE enables incremental testing at Layer 1, Layer 2 or higher layer levels. The TM500 LTE also supports full local or remote automation of test scripts, which, according to Aeroflex, is essential when building extensive and repeatable testing. The TM500 LTE test script configuration tool enables the easy generation and management of scripts that can then be initiated manually or by an executive test entity. The TM500 also makes it possible to alter parameters in real time to extend test coverage across a wide range of different configurations used in a live system.

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