RF test from Rohde & Schwarz validated for LTE UL CA, 64QAM

Article By : Rohde & Schwarz

The R&S TS8980 from Rohde & Schwarz provides test coverage for Rel. 8 to Rel. 13 versions of 3GPP 36.521-1, 36.521-3 and supplementary RF/RRM test plans for wireless network operators.

Rohde & Schwarz has pushed out the door its R&S TS8980 RF conformance test system that it claims to have achieved the world's first validation for both LTE-Advanced uplink carrier aggregation (UL CA) and LTE-Advanced Pro uplink 64QAM (UL 64QAM). RF conformance is a critical part of device certification as specified by the Global Certification Forum GCF. Mobile manufacturers that use the most advanced chipset solutions will now be able to certify their devices in line with GCF requirements for UL CA and UL 64QAM.

With the validation of LTE-Advanced Pro uplink 64QAM and LTE-Advanced uplink carrier aggregation, Rohde & Schwarz paves the way for wireless operators worldwide to make use of the latest LTE features. Both functionalities will grant individual users higher uplink data rates and offer all users higher average uplink data rates.


LTE UL CA is a new feature in the 3GPP Rel. 12 specification that combines two LTE uplink channels for a single user, effectively doubling the uplink data rate. This feature increases the currently available maximum uplink rate of 50 Mbit/s per LTE user to 100Mbit/s per LTE user (using the traditional 16QAM modulation in the uplink).

LTE UL 64QAM was introduced in 3GPP Rel. 13 as a new modulation scheme for the LTE uplink. It boosts the uplink data throughput by transmitting 6bits per transmitted LTE uplink symbol instead of the current 4 bits per LTE uplink symbol with 16QAM. This translates to a 50% increase in uplink data speed. LTE 64QAM is part of LTE-Advanced Pro, which is intended to mark the point in time where the LTE platform has been dramatically enhanced to address new markets as well as adding functionality to improve efficiency.

When these features are combined, LTE UL CA and LTE UL 64QAM enable a new maximum uplink data rate of 150Mbit/s. This takes LTE Advanced to the next level, with both downlink and uplink peak data rates now surpassing 100Mbit/s. Higher data rates in the LTE uplink finally address the main bottleneck caused by today's hunger for more data that is mainly due to social networking and cloud services.

The R&S TS8980 is a scalable and validated GCF and PTCRB test system. It provides test coverage for Rel. 8 to Rel. 13 versions of 3GPP 36.521-1 (TX, RX and performance), 36.521-3 (radio resource management-RRM) and supplementary RF/RRM test plans for wireless network operators.

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