PIM Test Power Levels for Mobile Communication Systems

In 1999, the International Electro-technical Commission (IEC) released Standard 62037 providing the wireless industry a consistent test method for measuring Passive Intermodulation (PIM) in RF components and systems. Over the next 12 years, wireless technology evolved from 2G systems serving primarily voice traffic to 4G systems serving high-speed data users. These 4G systems require new network architectures with broadband modulation schemes to achieve the required increase in network capacity. This paper reviews the applicability of IEC 62037 for qualifying components, subsystems and systems used in today’s commercial telecommunications infrastructure and specifically addresses whether or not there is technical merit in increasing PIM test power levels from 20W to 40W.