5G WIRELESS TESTING 2 0 1 8 The buzz on higher frequencies

Test laboratory opens facility for testing the higher frequencies for future radar applications in autonomous cars as well as 5G applications for communications and the Internet of Things.


K based EMC and Wireless testing specialist, RN Electronics has become the first test laboratory in the country to be accredited to test up to 231 GHz. These so called Extremely High Frequency (EHF) bands can be used by products destined for use in next generation 5G networks. The laboratory has been accredited by UKAS to test such

products to both European and US (FCC) standards. The capability enables the testing of a range of products that are used in pre-5G

networks including backhaul cells, fixed wireless access points, in-building wireless boosters and smart utility meters amongst others.

❱ ❱ Essex EMC and wireless test laboratory gains accreditation to test up to the higher frequencies required by 5G New Radio

MILLIMETRE WAVE Many new electronic devices operate in the EHF band between 30 GHz and 300 GHz. Radio waves in this band have wavelengths of 1 mm to 10 mm, which are therefore known as millimetre wave (mmW). Although such devices have short ranges (typically less than 1 km), they can support much faster data transfer than other products. There are many commercial applications for millimetre wave products including wireless backhaul

for high-speed internet connection, distribution of TV signals, radio astronomy, smart meters and fixed wireless links. Many modern cars include advanced driver assistance systems such as autonomous emergency braking and lane change assistance systems, which rely on high frequency automotive radar.

HIGHER FREQUENCIES Due to spectrum constraints, ETSI in Europe and the FCC in the USA are phasing out the use of the 24 GHz radar band by 2022. They have instead opened up frequencies in the 77 GHz band. This higher frequency can achieve a 20x improvement in range resolution and accuracy performance. It also allows the use of significantly smaller antennas. Even higher resolution radar for autonomous vehicles is proposed at around 150 GHz. Manufacturers are already developing 5G products which operate at high frequencies around 60-80 GHz. RN Electronics can test 77 GHz products up to the third harmonic thereby considering potential interference with radio astronomy at 231 GHz. Ofcom has recently released a review of spectrum used by fixed wireless services.

This included a consultation with stakeholders that found “a key message received on this was the greater focus now being placed on the higher millimetre wave bands above 92 GHz to deliver very high capacity traffic.” As a result of this review, Ofcom has announced a consultation that would allow licence free use of the 57-71 GHz band for wireless fixed links.

28 /// EMC Testing Vol 1 No. 2 EMC Testing Vol 1 No. 2 Editorial

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