Spirent Communications, a leader in testing wireless networks, services and devices, announced that several companies and government research organizations in the Asia Pacific region are using the Spirent VR5 HD Spatial Channel Emulator to test implementations of advanced MIMO beamforming. The Spirent VR5 emulates real-world radio conditions and identifies potential pitfalls of the antenna design in the mobile device before deployment.

MIMO beamforming combines two separate antenna techniques: MIMO, which offers a significant gain in data rates when compared to traditional wireless technologies; and beamforming, which steers wireless signals towards heavy usage areas, thereby increasing system efficiency. MIMO beamforming is a planned part of TD-LTE technology, expected to be widely deployed in several key markets worldwide, and of LTE-Advanced. However, due to the complex interactions between radiated signals and between the techniques themselves, turning theory into reality involves intensive laboratory work.

“The abilities to create realistic MIMO beamforming channels, automate the associated stringent phase-calibration process, and simplify testing were among the key design criteria for our recently-released Spirent VR5 solution,” said Spirent vice-president Rob VanBrunt. “However, we have been surprised at how quickly this important technology has advanced, contributing to an immediate burst of VR5 sales.”

According to VanBrunt, the VR5 was specifically designed to greatly simplify testing and offer engineers the ability to bring the real world into the lab when working on complex MIMO and beamforming products.