Rohde & Schwarz is enhancing its R&S CONTEST test software by adding end-to-end tests on mobile phones under real-world receive conditions. The software runs on the R&S CMW500 wideband radio communication tester and the R&S TS8980 RF test system. It enables network operators and manufacturers of mobile phones to perform automated measurements of data throughput and voice communications quality at cell boundaries or under fading influences. In addition, both test platforms can be used for other measurements required by the specification.

In real-life network operation, mobile phones must cope with different receive conditions. Whether at the boundary of a radio cell, during a handover between two different mobile radio technologies or in the presence of radio interference – the data throughput, the setup speed and the stability of a voice connection must meet the specifications of the network operator. As part of their approval process for a specific phone, network operators perform end-to-end tests between the mobile phone and the base station under field conditions. Rohde & Schwarz has now integrated these tests for the WCDMA, HSPA+ and LTE standards into its R&S CONTEST test software as performance quality analysis.

A test setup consists of an R&S CMW500 wideband radio communication tester running the R&S CONTEST software, and an R&S AMU200A, which generates the necessary fading signals and provides all 3GPP fading profiles. Measured data is collected and analyzed by an external PC. Alternatively, the R&S TS8980 RF test system with the R&S CONTEST test software can be used. Thanks to the upgradeability of established test platforms, users do not have to purchase a special end-to-end test system.

The R&S CONTEST test software enables network operators to define their own test plans with user-friendly input masks. In addition, the software offers numerous evaluation and display options that are of particular interest to mobile phone manufacturers. Using these options, manufacturers can detect and eliminate any weak points in their products before these undergo testing by the network operators.