5G active antenna

3GPP base station conformance testing

Deliver expected quality of experience to end users

Base station (BS) performance is vital for delivering expected quality of experience to end users. To ensure this, it is important that the base station conformance criteria is met and that they fulfill the requirements in the region in which they operate. These criteria are specified by the mobile communication standardization body 3GPP. Based on the 3GPP base station conformance specifications, regional standardization bodies, local regulators and network operators implement test standards according to their needs.

Meeting 3GPP specifications for base stations according to TS 38.104

Base stations need to pass conformance tests in the region where they will be installed before they can start operation in the field. For base stations the 3GPP specification TS 38.141 covers transmitter and receiver characteristics of base stations as well as receiver performance under noise and fading conditions. For 5G NR the 3GPP specifications and defined measurements are documented in TS 38.141-1 for conducted conformance testing and TS 38.141-2 for radiated conformance testing. Those refer to 3GPP TS 38.104 requirements on base station conformance.

5G NR 3GPP specifications
5G NR 3GPP specifications

Easy and user-friendly signal generation as well as standardized signal analysis of all individual measurements is essential, to quickly test and measure in full accordance to the specification. 3GPP conformance tests require high-performance measurement instruments providing wide analysis bandwidth and powerful analysing capabilities as well as high output power and wideband signal generation functionalities. A cost-effective verification that the receiver is able to meet performance requirements under real-world conditions is needed.

With the evolution of base stations, it is not only necessary to be able to perform 3GPP conducted conformance testing in a conducted manner, as well as radiated conformance testing over-the-air.

Base station conformance white papers, webinars and more

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App card: Speed up conformance testing for 5G NR base stations

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App card: MIMO fading simulation

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Application brochure: Signal generator, analyzer and power sensor applications for 5G

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App note: 5G NR base station transmitter tests

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App note: 5G NR base station receiver tests

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App note: 5G NR base station performance tests

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App note: 5G NR over-the-air base station transmitter tests

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App note: 5G NR over-the-air base station receiver tests

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Leading-edge test solutions for all 3GPP base station conformance testing

Rohde & Schwarz offers a broad solutions portfolio for base station conformance testing. The solutions range from high-performance signal generators and signal analyzers to turnkey test systems including shielded chamber environments.

Typically, base station conformance testing is performed with a combination of a vector signal generator and a signal and spectrum analyzer. The R&S®FSW signal and spectrum analyzer is an outstanding tool for testing spurious emissions of base station transmitters and receivers. It includes all parameters to conduct 3GPP base station conformance defined measurements.

The R&S®SMW200A vector signal generator is the perfect platform for testing base station receiver characteristics as well as performance. By offering an optional fading simulator it becomes a single box solution. The R&S®SMW200A is able to generate the wanted and interference signals, perform fading using presets for the corresponding channel models, add AWGN and provide the real-time HARQ feedback signals required for 3GPP TS 38.141 Chapter 8 performance testing.

A test case wizard helps users to quickly configure all relevant specification-compliant test cases by using built-in presets for the FRCs (Fixed Reference Channels) and TMs (Test Models).

In addition to leading solutions for 5G BTS testing, the Rohde & Schwarz portfolio also includes a wide range of anechoic chambers for over-the-air conformance testing, optimized in size and performance. These include the R&S®PWC200 small footprint plane wave converter for FR1 massive MIMO base station testing and the R&S®ATS1800C compact 3GPP-compliant OTA chamber for 5G NR mmWave signals.

R&S®SMW200A vector signal generator

R&S®SMW200A vector signal generator

Excellent signal source with high output power and wideband signal generation for conducted and over-the-air testing

R&S®FSW signal and spectrum analyzer

R&S®FSW signal and spectrum analyzer

Outstanding companion with wide analysis bandwidth and powerful analysis capabilities

R&S®ATS1800C CATR based 5G NR mmWave test chamber

R&S®ATS1800C CATR based 5G NR mmWave test chamber

Compact and flexible CATR OTA chamber to verify mmWave FR2 network equipment.

R&S®PWC200 plane wave converter

R&S®PWC200 plane wave converter

Small footprint solution to verify RF performance of your FR1 massive MIMO network equipment.

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Frequently asked questions on 6G wireless technology

Which 3GPP specifications define base station conformance testing and what do they include?

For 5G NR the 3GPP specifications and defined measurements are documented in TS 38.141-1 for conducted conformance testing in TS 38.141-2 for radiated conformance testing.

Both cover transmitter and receiver characteristics of base stations, included in chapter 6 and 7, as well as receiver performance, described in chapter 8.

What is the difference between the 3GPP specifications TS 38.104 and TS 38.141 and what is there relevance for base station conformance testing?

TS 38.104 contains minimum requirements with regards to HF and performance parameters of the base station. Details of the single tests for base station conformance testing, how they are executed as well as the the permitted measurement tolerances per test are described in two TS 38.141 specifications. TS 38.171-1 applies to conducted conformance testing and TS 38.141-2 refers to base station conformance testing in a radiated manner.

Which base station types are defined by 3GPP and which 3GPP base station conformance specifications apply to them?

3GPP defines 3 different base station (BS) types: BS types 1C - conducted, 1H - hybrid, 1O – OTA for FR1 and 2O – OTA for FR2. For BS type 1C and 1H the 3GPP base station conformance testing specification TS 38.141-1 applies. TS 38.141-2 is applicable to 1H, 1O and 2O BS types.

Which advantages has internal fading simulation for 3GPP receiver performance testing?

It provides a compact setup with signal generation and integrated baseband fading in a single box and eliminates the need for additional level calibration. There are no signal conversion losses (up/downconversion, A/D conversion) as signals are faded in the baseband. It is a cost-effective solution compared with setups using an external RF fader. Rohde & Schwarz offers flexible extension of RF outputs using R&S®SGT100A units to support MIMO orders up to eight layers with centralized control on the R&S®SMW200A.

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