Base station testing - new test challenges with the introduction of 5G

Traditionally base stations have been verified by measuring their performance conductively at the antenna interface. With 5G, we enter a new and exciting era for base station design. Base stations and Remote Radio Units (RRU) are moving towards more integrated antenna/radio solutions, as well as Massive MIMO with 64 or more radio/antenna elements. These Advanced Antenna System technologies are applied also on LTE base stations to improve network capacity as well as reduce power consumption. However, this new breed of base stations will introduce new measurement challenges as these new design considerations change or eliminate the traditional antenna connector interface. Without access to these connectors, the test equipment must measure base station performance after the antenna output in a radiated, wireless over-the-air (OTA) environment.