LTE Advanced Solution Suite

LTE Carrier Aggregation Measurement Solution

The DRT4311B scanner provides the means to collect meaningful data for use by operators implementing Carrier Aggregation (CA) solutions for LTE Advanced networks.

LTE network bandwidths vary greatly and some have bands as narrow as 10 MHz.   However, LTE Advanced high-speed data rates require additional spectrum to support the promised high data rates.  With CA techniques, higher throughput rates are achieved by utilizing multiple channels available within the network’s RF spectrum.  Complicating the implementation of CA are signal multipath, channel interference, and throughput differences on the aggregated carrier channels. Use of CA techniques is also attractive because it allows network providers to maintain backward compatibility with previously deployed equipment.

If not implemented accurately, the use of CA can lead to mismatched footprints due to overlaid carrier deployments and RF physics.  The DRT4311B is the best scanner and measurement tool available to support operators calculating CA solutions.  The DRT4311B provides:

  • Un-banded tuners that provide 40, 80 or 120 MHz of simultaneous bandwidth coverage allowing the operator to instantly collect data on all available carriers.
  • A statistical space/time view of all carriers that provides a first line of defense against CA issues by measuring per carrier core measurements of the carrier’s Reference Signal Received Power (RSRP), Reference Signal Received Quality (RSRQ), and Received Signal Carrier to Interference plus Noise Ratio (RS CINR).
  • DRT system’s API allows the network operator to use his own client applications and post-processing tools to generate aggregate Key Performance Indicators (KPI) using differences in data found and reported by the DRT4311B.

Note that in the very near future, the DRT4311B will also able to:

  • Perform Multiple-Input/Multiple Output (MIMO) measurements supporting development of the Condition Number and calculating throughput estimates.
  • Same‐frame measurements that provide unprecedented detail for fine‐tuning network performance.

CA Analysis Tools

The DRT4311B is a complete solution:  Not just a scanner, the system software includes a set of tools that allow more in-depth analysis of the collected data so that when DRT4311B CA measurements indicate an issue, the same scanner can perform interference analysis to identify the root cause of the issue. Several tools are integrated into the system software:

LTE Interference Analysis Tool (LTE IAT)

The LTE Interference Analysis Tool (IAT) performs power measurement for each Resource Element of a specified Sub-frame or Time Slot, as well as power measurements for each Time Slot in a 10-ms frame. This allows for the detection of cell activities. In particular, for LTE-TDD system, the IAT allows the detection of uplink interference and the detection of LTE-TDD cells that are not properly synchronized.  This can be seen for LTE-FDD as well.  Allows the operator to:

  • Identify and inspect problem timeslots.
  • Identify and inspect uplink/downlink interferers.
  • Identify general activity/interference.
  • Unlike a UE, the 4311B allows you to look at the entire network and separate:
    • RE & RB measurements
      • RE = resource element
      • RB = resource block

MPS Power Spectrum Tool (PST)

Allows the operator to:

  • Analyze spectrum data to pinpoint and characterize time/frequency interferers with waterfall plots. The PST also supports Continuous Wave (CW) testing and supports 20 kHz and 100 kHz RSSI bandwidths. The current PST meets Lee Criteria for walk test speeds. Near term improvements will increase the scan rates even more.
  • Use signal envelope mode for high‐resolution time domain inspection.
  • Measure VHF and UHF power bands.

Smart Survey

DRT’s Smart Survey feature expands on the basic survey features in Multi-Protocol Survey (MPS) to discover occupied channels faster.

While effective for network survey in an area where networks are known, many operators do not need MPS’s detailed configuration options for drive test.  In some configurations, MPS may also not discover new cells and revisit known cells fast enough. Smart Survey uses multiple improvements upon the MPS cell detection and identification abilities which allow cells to be discovered quickly while still able to decode overhead message parameters for cell identification.

DRT4311B Smart Survey supports the following use cases:

Blind scanning and carrier benchmarking

Smart Survey performs blind scanning when no knowledge of the local cellular infrastructure is available.  The survey begins with minimal configuration – just hit Go and the unit will scan all defined bands for all supported cellular protocols.  Of course the survey can complete faster if known information about the local cellular networks is entered. In this case the operator can select some bands and/or protocols and hit Go.

Fast mobile cellular survey

In unknown areas, Smart Survey uses multiple improvements upon the MPS cell detection and identification abilities to allow cells to be discovered quickly while still being able to decode overhead message parameters for cell identification.

Full broadcast channel survey

Smart Survey offers complete decode of all salient parameters for network selection and access.

Continuous Survey

The survey process runs continually, automatically identifying active cellular channels throughout the mission to maximize sample density for quality post processing and map making. This supports mobile use cases, such as in an automobile, aircraft, and walk testing.

RF Subsystem Availability Instrumentation Industry

For instrumentation companies that prefer to build their own scanner systems, DRT can provide the DRT4311B’s RF subsystem and/or signal processing engine for placement into an OEM scanner.


DRT4300B Software Development Kit (SDK)

For companies wishing to integrate new or custom software applications into the DRT4300B we provide an easy-to-use software development package.

The SDK provides all the libraries necessary to interact with formats and core system capabilities. For many common development environments, the SDK hides the physical transport layer, allowing integrators to dive right into native software development in familiar languages.

The Android robot is reproduced or modified from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License.