Spirent Communications, a leader in testing wireless networks, services and devices, and Bluetest AB, a supplier of reverberation test systems, announced their collaboration to advance Over-The-Air (OTA) test methods for mobile devices. Through their collective research and development, these two industry leaders will dramatically improve the time and reduce the cost required to deliver a superior user experience to mobile subscribers.

Mobile device innovation is rapidly evolving and many smartphones now include five or more separate antennas to support radio technologies such as GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth and MIMO for LTE. The increasing number of antennas and decreasing device size combine to create new RF and signal processing challenges for device designers and network operators.

"There has been an order-of-magnitude increase in the RF complexity of multi-antenna devices," said Rob VanBrunt, Vice President of Spirent's Wireless group. "In order to ensure that user satisfaction keeps pace with the rapid increase in functionality, new test methods are needed. But thorough testing cannot be allowed to delay a product's time to market. Together, the contributions of Spirent and Bluetest will enable our customers to test more in less time and at a reduced cost."

The two companies have been conducting trials and making technical contributions to industry standard groups. By combining Bluetest's expertise in reverberation technology with Sprient's expertise in wireless channel emulation and GNSS testing, the companies plan to greatly improve test methods for characterizing MIMO and GPS OTA performance of mobile devices. Automated test solutions based on these advancements will characterize device performance in a fraction of the time spent using alternative approaches.

"Customers want the test time, accuracy and cost advantages of our reverberation test technology," said Kjell Olovsson, Vice President of Buisiness Development at Bluetest. "In some cases they want to extend the existing capabilities for more advanced testing. Our work with Sprirent will ensure that these customers achieve their objectives."