Industry White Paper

Over-the-Air RF Conformance Measurements on 5G NR Devices

August 25, 2021 by Rohde & Schwarz Download PDF

White Paper Overview

Due to the increasing integration of chipsets and antennas and the use of higher frequencies in the millimeterwave range, the boundaries between chipset testing, RF testing and antenna characterization have become blurred. Highly integrated antennas no longer allow isolated testing of chipset and passive antenna components. In FR2, cable connectors are no longer feasible. Aspects like shrinking component sizes only produce minor effects. In contrast, there are major challenges related to costs and other problems such as path attenuation, RF matching between connectors and susceptibility of connected setups to bending.

The main impetus for a paradigm change in the test setup was the introduction of directional antennas in UEs. As a result, beamforming is no longer a feature that is only found in base stations. A new measurement domain was created. Analogous to familiar time based metrics (e.g. power versus time), spectrum based metrics (e.g. spectrum emission mask) and code domain based metrics (e.g. code domain power), spatial domain based metrics are now important. Terms like spherical radiation pattern and spherical receiver characteristics have become commonplace in the T&M industry.

Read this white paper to learn more on the technical background for over-the-air (OTA) testing on 5G NR devices. Focusing on RF conformance aspects and UEs, the paper examines the requirements described in the technical specifications.

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