Rohde & Schwarz will collaborate with Communications Components Inc. (CCI) to provide operators and test services providers with a comprehensive solution for base station installation and maintenance including PIM testing. The RF VSWR, cable loss, distance-to-fault and power measurement capabilities of the R&S ZVH handheld cable and antenna tester is now complemented by Passive Intermodulation test capabilities of the CCI PIMPro Tower Series PIM Analyser.

The migration of cellular networks to LTE and LTE-Advanced, the adoption of new features such as MIMO, beamforming and Het Nets all bring benefits to network operators as they build capacity to address expanding subscriber demand for bandwidth. However, these same features contribute to complexity in the Radio Access Network (RAN) and increased vulnerability of the network to base station faults such as poor antenna isolation, component faults and Passive Intermodulation (PIM) that degrade network performance and impair subscriber Quality of Service (QoS). The challenge facing field service teams is to ensure efficient, fault-free installation of cell sites and rapid troubleshooting if faults develop.

The R&S ZVH handheld cable and antenna tester is perfectly adapted to this application featuring fast and accurate distance-to-fault, one-port cable loss and antenna matching measurements whilst the complementary PIM Pro Tower Series from CCI provides lightweight and rugged full power Passive Intermodulation testing, ideally suited for LTE networks. The R&S ZVH boasts cost saving features such as a test sequence automation wizard, fast changes in operating modes, long battery life and rapid calibration whilst the CCI PIM Pro Tower Series is the lightest PIM tester on the market, ideal for top of the tower measurements, contained in a rugged backpack for easy carrying, yet still delivering 2 x 40 W carriers.

Developed to address the prevalence of tower mounted Remote Radio Heads, the PIMPro Tower Series can also be used for traditional macro site BTS and DAS installations. LTE, with its higher data rates, requirement for superior transmission fidelity and more complex RAN, make efficient field BTS measurements ever more critical to deliver the required QoS to subscribers. Bringing the Rohde & Schwarz and CCI products together puts powerful tools in the hands of field service engineers to meet the demands of LTE infrastructure and ensure the performance of the network.