Modern base stations (eNodeBs) need to cope with a challenging range of network conditions. The network itself is a complex set of interacting cells, from macro to enterprise and infill pico, to home femto. Large quantities of mobiles (UEs) all require various combinations of signalling, voice and data, and may be moving rapidly from one cell to another. In the future, the number of UEs will increase significantly as the Internet of Things (IoT) takes shape.
In order to properly test eNodeBs, these complex scenarios must be effectively simulated. This requires connection to multiple eNodeBs each with multiple sectors, increasingly more than one carrier, and many sectors. To build a suitable piece of test equipment requires many DSPs and FPGAs for the baseband processing with high speed digital interconnect between these, coupled with multiple channels of flexible RF which can be software reconfigured for different modes, bandwidths and frequencies. Alternatively, multiple CPRI interfaces can be used to directly connect IQ digital data to the eNodeBs.
CommAgility AMC products as part of a flexible MicroTCA architecture are ideally suited for this type of system. The processing elements, both on-board and between boards, can be connected with Serial RapidIO to form a large and powerful network. Many products include CPRI interfaces and flexible RF AMC cards can be connected to the baseband with CPRI or Serial RapidIO.