Anritsu Co. has upgraded its Radio Communication Test Station MT8000A with 5G Protocol Test functions. The upgrade uses NR (New Radio) Fading software that, when implemented with built-in baseband fading tests, allows the MT8000A to support 3GPP TS 38.521-4 B.1/B.2 V15.0.0-compliant 5G NR channel (TDL) model tests.

With the software, the MT8000A can conduct fading tests that simulate the actual radio-wave propagation environment and are required for development of mobile devices. Previously, an external 5G RF fading simulator was necessary. It is now implemented as an internal fader in the MT8000A, supporting either 2CC 4x4 MIMO tests with one MT8000A unit or 8CC 2x2 MIMO tests with two units. As a result, protocol test set-up in a fading environment is simpler and external test equipment is eliminated. Additionally, compatibility with existing protocol functions helps lower development costs.

Mobile device development requires 3GPP-compliant testing and evaluation to assure interoperability. These tests are not limited to static communications protocols and RF evaluations between mobiles and base stations, but also include Radio Resource Management (RRM) tests simulating a moving mobile unit, as well as evaluations in a fading environment.

The MT8000A is for mobile device vendors requiring efficient tests with good cost-performance covering a wide range of conditions. It is an all-in-one test platform for RF, protocol, and beam tests, as well as for beam-forming evaluations. In addition to supporting functions for simulating base-station non-standalone (NSA) and standalone (SA) modes required for development of 5G chipsets and devices, it also supports the latest technologies, such as 4x4 MIMO for increasing data transmission speeds in the sub-6 GHz band, as well as 8CC for implementing wideband millimeter wave (mmWave).

The MT8000A covers the key frequency bands used by the first 5G services, such as the sub-6 GHz band (FR1) frequencies of 2.5, 3.5 and 4.5 GHz, and the mmWave band (FR2) frequencies of 28 and 39 GHz.

The easy-to-use interface, coupled with comprehensive RF measurement and NR fading software, makes it easy to configure a cost-effective test environment.