Airgain has introduced its new testing laboratory, designed specifically to meet the challenges inherent in the development of solutions supporting new 5G mmWave (millimeter wave) networks.
5G mmWave promises massive capacity increases, super-fast data rates, and ultra-low latency. However, the bands being used in 5G mmWave networks create a new set of challenges for development and testing, with much higher levels of atmospheric loss, very short channel coherence times and propagation of signals that is primarily line-of-sight. Overcoming these not only requires new design approaches, but also significant investments in new testing systems to help quickly identify issues and enable swift design revisions.
5G mmWave will enable a dramatic shift in the capabilities of wireless connectivity. However, nothing comes without a cost, and development and testing of antennas to support the higher frequencies involved presents a unique set of challenges – from beamforming capabilities required in antennas to propagation characteristics of mmWave bands.
Challenges of 5G mmWave Testing:
- The nature of 5G mmWave frequencies demands more sophisticated radio frequency measurements, which is particularly challenging with smaller device and array sizes.
- Smart adaptive antennas in phase arrays pose additional testing challenges due to the need for greater accuracy in gain measurements.
- With significantly more antennas, ever smaller devices, and a lack of connectors on many components, testing for mmWave is being pushed away from conducted setups to chamber or OTA testing.
- While the 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands are the most popular initially, testing must cover all mmWave frequencies from 24 GHz to 65 GHz. This means testing must provide far field radio characterization capabilities across a very broad range of frequencies.
Testing Laboratory Key Features:
- Designed for mmWave radio performance testing and validation from 24 GHz to 65 GHz
- Capability to test the full range of mmWave systems including small cells, enterprise access points, fixed wireless access, and CPE (consumer premise equipment) – including fixed and active beamforming antenna arrays
- The test chamber will provide S-parameter, gain, polarization, and other radiation pattern characteristics for both free space and embedded antennas.
For more details, click here.