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Test System Takes On 3GPP LTE Technology

The Aeroflex TM500 LTE test platform is designed to address the challenges of 3GPP LTE (3G Long Term Evolution) network infrastructure development test and rollout. platform has Layer 1, Layer 2, and higher layer test features, and provides visibility into the lowest layers of the radio modem by generating the detailed diagnostic data needed for engineers to verify functionality and optimize network operation and performance.

LTE is the 3GPP's vision for the evolution of UMTS network infrastructure going forward into the next decade. It targets data rates in excess of 100 Mbit/s over the downlink and 50 Mbit/s over the uplink when operating in 20-MHz spectrum allocation, and climbing to peak rates of 300 Mbps in the downlink for the highest category UEs.

The TM500 LTE incorporates test, logging, and measurement features at all layers of the protocol. It includes advanced MIMO tests to verify that the network appropriately handles MIMO-related signaling and correctly applies MIMO modes. Graphical displays and charts give a visualization of the signal quality and the system status enabling engineers to characterize and isolate problems. It's also possible to override signaling, or even force data corruption, to enable simulation of abnormal conditions in order to test the system response or expose difficult problems.

In the early stages of LTE development, the higher layer protocol will typically not be available and engineers must configure the physical and lower layer tests using scripts that may incorporate hundreds of LTE parameters. The TM500 LTE enables incremental testing at Layer 1, Layer 2, or higher layer levels. Using a graphical user interface, engineers can configure parameters and scripts to execute complex tests scenarios at different layers.

The TM500 LTE also supports full local or remote automation of test scripts, which is important when building extensive and repeatable testing. The test-script configuration tool enables generation and management of scripts that can then be initiated manually or by an executive test entity. Users can alter parameters in real time to extend test coverage across a wide range of different configurations used in a live system. This enables early detection of software bugs that may not otherwise be found until much later in the development cycle when diagnosing and rectifying errors is typically much more expensive.

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