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

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  • Author: Reiner Stuhlfauth, Heinz Mellein

For wireless communications systems, user device testing was originally based on conducted measurements. Even on component level, RF connectors were available for measuring metrics and characterizing RF performance. Such metrics can be divided into TX performance parameters such as power level, EVM quality or spectral emissions, and RX performance parameters such as receiver sensitivity and selectivity. Antenna implementation also plays a crucial role in overall performance.Due to the increasing integration of chip-sets and antennas and the use of higher frequencies in the millimeter-wave range,the boundaries between chip-set testing, RF testing and antenna characterization have become blurred.

Measurement characteristics and requirements specified by standardization organizations like 3GPP have been updated accordingly. Conformance testing must ensure proper implementation and operation of applicable systems.The objective of this paper is to discuss the technical background for over-the-air (OTA) testing. Focusing on UEs, the paper examines the requirements described in the technical specifications.

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