Rohde & Schwarz recently issued some insights on the use of their FSW signal and spectrum analyzer and SMW200A Vector Signal Generator to maximize test and measurement solutions in 5G mmWave projects. The company’s research team noted substantially higher bandwidth modes are one of the technology components discussed in 5G to achieve higher data rates. They are only available at significantly higher carrier frequencies compared with today’s cellular network implementations below 6 GHz. 3GPP has initially defined a frequency range of 24.25 GHz to 52.6 GHz for 5G NR cmWave and mmWave operation. First commercial deployments will use 26 GHz to 28 GHz and 39 GHz frequencies.
The single carrier channel bandwidth and carrier aggregation determine the overall bandwidth requirements. A maximum channel bandwidth per 5G NR carrier of 100 MHz for the sub-6 GHz range and 400 MHz for the mmWave range plus multiple carrier aggregation leads to a bandwidth requirement of up to 2 GHz. For the cellular industry, the spectrum above 6 GHz is a new area, and component developers are facing many challenges such as higher path attenuation, frequency response and phase noise as well as linearity and efficiency aspects. Developers need flexible test and measurement solutions to generate and analyze such 5G wideband signals in order to develop and optimize their designs.