5G testing guide for engineers: Testing Massive MIMO and Beamforming Over the Air

Highlighted in the seminar hosted by National Instrument (2019), In a Massive MIMO system, the number of base-station antennas far exceeds the number of user terminals. Using this concept, the 5G standard specifies Multiuser MIMO (MU-MIMO) technology, in which the base station feeds the active antenna systems with precoded signals that multiplex in space several simultaneous streams to multiple users, such that each receiver can pick up its own independent data stream. To achieve this spatial multiplexing, the gNB needs to target the individual receivers by beamforming the radiated energy to each one. With beamforming, engineers can implement MU-MIMO to boost gNB capacity and can decrease transmitted energy use. Another benefit of beamforming is that it can create and steer signal nulls to reduce cochannel interference, ensuring high throughput. For most 5GFR1 designer, there are few points need to bare in mind:

  • OTA for More Accurate Characterization
  • Far-Field Measurement Challenges
  • Thermal Test Challenges
  • Spatial Scanning Test Challenges
  • OTA Calibration Procedure & 3D Radiation Pattern
  • Radiated Power and Modulated Tests
  • Fine Spatial Grids and Test Time Challenges

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