OTA Testing in 5G NR: Challenges, Solutions & Best Practices

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  • Author: Enrico Brinciotti

Radio testing of base stations or User Equipment (UE) was established with the early 2G systems based primarily on conducted connections. Even on a component level usually an RF connector was available, allowing connection of a test instrument to measure the metrics of interest. Why do 5G devices and base stations need to be tested Over-The-Air (OTA)? What does a typical OTA test environment consist of? What is the Quiet Zone (QZ)? Which test metrics does 3GPP specify for 5G OTA testing? How can we measure them? This white paper addresses all these questions. It describes the available OTA test methods and provides guidance on choosing the right solution in different scenarios. Introducing OTA measurements in the validation and conformance process introduces numerous challenges in achieving a desired measurement accuracy. This white paper includes an overview of the main challenges, solutions and best practices of an OTA testing environment. Choosing the best test solution helps to speed time to market, lower cost-of-test and give companies a competitive advantage in the new frontier of wireless.

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