R&S SMW200A vector signal generator and R&S FSW signal analyzer from Rohde & Schwarz

Qualcomm validates its latest FR3 band RF modem with Rohde & Schwarz test solutions

  • In the evolving landscape of 5G networks, leveraging frequency ranges FR1 (0.41 to 7.125 GHz) and FR2 (24.25 to 71 GHz) has been pivotal.
  • As the era of 5G-Advanced and 6G unfolds, a third frequency range is being discussed in global regulatory and industry consortiums worldwide.
  • The FR3, also known as the upper-midband, extends from 7.125 to 24.25 GHz.

This frequency band opens up new horizons for mobile communication technologies.
Rohde & Schwarz test solutions have enabled Qualcomm Technologies to demonstrate the efficiency of its latest RF modem operating in the FR3 band.

At the most recent World Radio Conference 2023, held in November and December 2023 in Dubai, organized and hosted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a consensus emerged among regulatory bodies and industry leaders to explore additional spectra for the next generation of mobile communication, officially labeled IMT-2030, also known as 6G. Notably, the 14.8 to 15.35 GHz frequency range has been earmarked for global study. In addition, local agencies like the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States are also eyeing the upper 12 GHz band (12.7 to 13.25 GHz) for future wireless applications.

In anticipation of these developments, Rohde & Schwarz has enabled Qualcomm Technologies to demonstrate that the Giga-MIMO system for tomorrow’s infrastructure is ready to operate in these frequencies. It promises enhanced data performance while offering coverage comparable to current 5G massive MIMO networks operational at 3.5 GHz.

To validate the performance of this prototype, Qualcomm Technologies utilized the R&S SMW200A vector signal generator and R&S FSW signal and spectrum analyzer from Rohde & Schwarz. The setup included specialized firmware for the testing of different subcarrier spacings with wider signal bandwidths compared to today’s 3GPP physical layer specifications. The wider bandwidths will ultimately enable higher data rates and lower latency.

Demonstration of FR3 signal generation and analysis at MWC 

At MWC Barcelona, Rohde & Schwarz demonstrated a signal generation and analysis setup for early FR3 research, featuring the latest vector signal generator and analyzer products. The setup consists of the brand new R&S SMW200A, not only with a new front panel and user interface but also significant improvements in EVM performance. On the analysis side, the R&S FSVA3000 includes special features like IQ noise cancellation to achieve EVM measurement thanks to a noise corrected measurement path. Dedicated 5G signals for FR3 was being generated and analyzed as part of the demonstration.