LTE-Advanced is an evolutionary step forward in the continuing development of LTE. Specified as part of the 3GPP Release 10 standard, it was designed to deliver higher capacity with an increased peak data rate of 1 Gbps for the downlink and 500 Mbps for the uplink, higher spectral efficiency, an increased number of simultaneously active subscribers, and improved performance at cell edges. To achieve these capabilities, LTE-Advanced relies on a number of technologies, such as carrier aggregation (CA) and higher-order MIMO, that introduce unique challenges in the design and test of evolved Node B (eNB) or base station and user equipment (UE) devices.
This application note focuses on one of the challenges: characterizing LTE-Advanced base station transmitters using the 3GPP RF conformance tests, which have been updated with additional requirements to address CA. It examines the new and modified requirements in 3GPP Release 10 and beyond, pertaining to CA, and proposes solutions to address these measurement requirements, from early R&D through to design validation and manufacturing.