You know 5G is in deployment when two companies introduce installation and maintenance test tools in the same week. That’s what happened recently as both VIAVI Solutions and Rohde & Schwarz introduced portable test equipment for 5G site installation, though the companies emphasize different tests.
VIAVI, known for its network-testing products, introduced the OneAdvisor-800, a multipurpose tool that lets installation and maintenance technicians perform fiber inspection and validation, cable and antenna analysis, and make over-the-air tests that include spectrum and interference analysis.
OneAdvisor-800 gets its versatility by integrating with several external VIAVI tools. For testing fiber ends, you can use a fiber microscope such as the P5000i, which connects to the OneAdvisor-800 over a USB link. Using a blue LED, the microscope shines a light on the end of the fiber and sends a 640×480 image to the OneAdvisor-800’s screen and can detect particles of 1 µm in diameter.
For testing the whole fiber, the OneAdvisor-800 uses VIAVI’s OTDR module that has 37 dB dynamic range (single mode fiber) and 26 dB for multimode fiber. Tests include micro-bend detection and bidirectional OTDR analysis.
The OneAdvisor-800 also tests copper cables and antennas up to 6 GHz. Using VIAVI’s Cable and Antenna Analyzer module, the OneAdvisor-800 performs a sweep test from 12.5 MHz to 6 GHz with 1 kHz frequency resolution. It performs 1-port cable loss and phase measurements and 2-port transmission measurements.
RF testing company Rohde & Schwarz focuses on a cell site’s 5G and LTE RF signals with its 5G STS. It consists of the TSMA6 receiver and TME30DC (30 GHz) downconverter, Cable Rider ZPH (optional), and 5G-STS-QualiPoc Android smartphone or 5G-STS-Tablet as the user interface.
The TSMA6 identifies 5G and LTE channels and provides information on center frequency, channel number, and network operator. A spectrum display provides an indication of power levels. Because 5G non-standalone signals use LTE to carry the network settings, the TSMA6 analyzes both 5G and LTE signals in parallel.
In addition to RF and channel tests, the TSMA6 can perform functional tests such as voice quality when using the 5G-STS-QualiPoc Smartphone. The optional R&S Cable Rider ZPH adds spectral analysis along with cable and antenna tester functionality. It measures the occupied bandwidth of 5G carriers. Using a time gate, the TSMA6 isolates the uplink signal. That lets site technicians test for interference in time-division duplex (TDD) networks. The zero-span feature lets you view the single sideband (SSB) in the time domain, letting you see the number of signal beams. The Cable Rider ZPH measures optical power and RF-conducted measurements of VSWR and distance-to-fault at the cell site.