T&M support for highest-rate LTE-A uplink traffic, to 150 Mbps

May 13, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
The first validation of LTE-Advanced Pro uplink 64QAM and LTE-Advanced uplink CA (carrier aggregation) has been achieved using Rohde & Schwarz’ TS8980.

LTE uplink carrier aggregation (LTE UL CA) is a new feature in the 3GPP Rel. 12 specification that combines two LTE uplink channels for a single user, effectively doubling the uplink data rate. This feature increases the currently available maximum uplink rate of 50 Mbit/sec per LTE user to 100 Mbit/sec per LTE user (using the traditional 16QAM modulation in the uplink).


LTE UL 64QAM was introduced in 3GPP Rel. 13 as a new modulation scheme for the LTE uplink. It boosts the uplink data throughput by transmitting 6 bits per transmitted LTE uplink symbol instead of the current 4 bits per LTE uplink symbol with 16QAM. This translates to a 50% increase in uplink data speed. LTE 64QAM is part of LTE-Advanced Pro, which is intended to mark the point in time where the LTE platform has been dramatically enhanced to address new markets as well as adding functionality to improve efficiency.


The R&S TS8980 RF conformance test system from Rohde & Schwarz has achieved the world's first validation for both LTE-Advanced uplink carrier aggregation (UL CA) and LTE-Advanced Pro uplink 64QAM (UL 64QAM). RF conformance is a critical part of device certification as specified by the Global Certification Forum GCF. Mobile manufacturers that use the most advanced chipset solutions will now be able to certify their devices in line with GCF requirements for UL CA and UL 64QAM.


Validation of LTE-Advanced Pro uplink 64QAM and LTE-Advanced uplink carrier aggregation is a step towards enabling wireless operators worldwide to make use of the latest LTE features. Both functionalities will grant individual users higher uplink data rates and offer all users higher average uplink data rates. The validation took place at the recent Global Certification Forum (GCF) meeting CAG#46 in New Jersey, USA, supported by leading wireless network operators and cellular equipment manufacturers.


When these features are combined, LTE UL CA and LTE UL 64QAM enable