Cobham Wireless Test Set Supports New LTE-A Standards

TM500 Network Test FamilyCobham Wireless has announced that the industry-standard TM500 network test family can now validate all the main features of LTE-Advanced up to and including Release 12 of the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) specification. The system has also added support for carrier aggregation with unlicensed frequency bands as used for LTE Licence Assisted Access (LAA), a major feature of 3GPP Release 13.

Network operators and infrastructure vendors rely on the timely availability of support for new 3GPP features to allow them to validate this functionality on their networks ahead of its availability on real mobile devices. The addition of these new features reaffirms the TM500 network test family’s reputation for staying ahead of the LTE-A roadmap, providing advanced network validation capability as soon as it is needed.

The Release 12 feature line-up includes LTE TDD-FDD carrier aggregation and 256 QAM, which were both announced last year. The TM500 also now supports carrier aggregation with unlicensed spectrum in the 5 GHz WLAN band, as used by LTE Unlicensed (LTE-U) and LTE-LAA. This increases the available bandwidth and gives the user the benefit of higher 4G LTE data rates.

LTE-LAA is a technology for carrier aggregation of LTE with a secondary cell in the unlicensed band, normally the 5 GHz band that is already used by WLAN. In order to be able to coexist with WLAN devices in the same band without causing contention issues, LTE-LAA uses a protocol known as listen-before-talk (LBT), which is mandatory in Europe. LTE-U is a similar technology that is already being used in SE Asia, without the use of LBT.