Aeroflex announces TDD-FDD handover using an LTE capacity test system

January 31, 2013 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Aeroflex Limited has announced that the Aeroflex E500 LTE capacity test system is the industry's first capacity tester to successfully hand over data services between TDD and FDD networks. Network operators around the world are already commissioning dual standard networks as part of the rapid expansion in TD-LTE (LTE TDD) networks. The E500's handover capability is therefore crucial for both operators and network suppliers testing TDD/FDD networks.

The E500 system enables operators to confirm the operation and performance of their network before releasing into the field. The capacity test system achieves this by enabling the network to be loaded with hundreds to tens of thousands of UEs (user equipment), each capable of emulating different radio fading profiles with varying data service mixes in a multi-cell environment. The E500 exploits the the company's TM500 Test Mobile platform, the de facto industry standard for LTE and LTE-A base station and network testing.

Converged TDD/FDD networks allow mobile operators to maximize the benefits from their spectrum investments and hence provide the best quality service for their customers. Although the TD-LTE market is being driven by China, significant LTE TDD network launches have already taken place in Brazil, Japan, and Saudi Arabia, while operators in Poland, Sweden, and the USA are launching dual-standard FDD and TDD LTE networks.

"Dual-standard TDD/FDD LTE networks are likely to grow in importance towards the end of this decade, as operators start running out of spectrum," said Caroline Gabriel, Research Director at Maravedis Rethink. "They will need to make the best use of this scarce resource, and this will include utilizing bands of unpaired spectrum. Even networks that are currently FDD only may begin to use TDD for offloading."

According to ARCchart there are already more than 50 mobile operators worldwide committed to TDD technology for LTE, and TD-LTE subscriptions are forecast to exceed 500 million by 2017. ARCchart reports that most of the TD-LTE compatible mobile devices launched commercially to date support both FDD and TDD modes of operation. The growth in this market is fueled by the large amount of unpaired spectrum designated for TDD usage and the lower deployment costs offered by TDD technology.