4G LTE drive test basics | Drive test tools and LTE scanner

This page on 4G LTE drive test describes LTE measurements performed during drive test. It also mentions LTE drive test tools including LTE test scanner.

The Drive tests are useful for various reasons as mentioned below:
• It helps test the system before deployment.
• To determine any RF signal strength related issues.
• To determine the cells available in the region for the target RAT(Radio Access Technology) or any other RATs.
• To determine the functioning of the system(e.g. LTE) along with other RATs. (GSM,UMTS)
• To find out any issues during long duration CS and PS call.This is referred as stability tests.
• Refer basics of RF drive test >>.

LTE drive test system composed of LTE UE hardware and software which takes care of decoding the eNB compliant signal. It also houses drive test software application to perform various measurements in a easy to display manner. This helps LTE RF engineers and LTE network engineers troubleshoot problems during the testing and installation phase.

Following table mentions lists of measurements performed by such LTE drive test system. JDS Uniphase Corporation has developed LTE drive test software(Model: JDSU-E6474A) and hardware module measurement receiver(Model:JDSU W1314A) for their drive test system solution. The solution covers multiple bands and supports multiple technologies. The drive test system supports multiple RATs e.g. GSM, UMTS, HSPA, GPRS, TD-SCDMA, iDEN, WiMAX and LTE. Following LTE drive test measurements are performed by JDSU solution.

LTE Measurements Description
Protocol Log(RRC log, NAS log) This helps analyze the cell related system informations and broadcast messages and troubleshoot timing related events
Physical Cell-ID/E-ARFCN This helps determine active and powered on cells i.e. base stations or eNBs
RSRP(Reference Signal Received Power) in dBm It measures cell site received signal coverage
RSRQ(Reference Signal Received Quality) in dB It measures cell site reecived signal quality
Channel Quality Measurements-SINR/CINR/SNR This is proprietary measurements and it is manufacturer specific.
DL-SCH and UL-SCH throughput measurements on the shared channel used by LTE UE on uplink and downlink.
DL-SCH and UL-SCH BLER Block Error Rate UE is achieving while on UL and DL channels.
DL/UL resource blocks Shared channels allocated to UE by the LTE scheduler operating in eNB.
DL/UL modulation and coding Supported modulations such as BPSK, QPSK, 16QAM or 64QAM based on network conditions
WB/NB Channel Quality Information measurement if channel quality on allocated frequencies. It is used for link adaption purpose.
Number of Tx/Rx paths It will determine active MIMO mode.
UE transmit power Help determine power used by the UE for efficient operation.
User application throughput It will help in estimation of LTE throughput achivable by the LTE network for various applications.
Ping related measurements It will help measure latency of the network.

LTE drive test tools | R&S LTE Drive Test Scanner

Let us understand various drive test tools available for LTE system.
JDSU has developed drive test solutions for LTE system which include JDSU E6474A wireless network optimization system and JDSU W1314A measurement receiver and other modules/softwares. They have phone-based drive test and receiver based drive test for LTE.

RantCell has developed following drive test tools for similar need in 4G LTE as well as other cellular technologies.
• RF drive test tool to optimize mobile network.
• Cell tower QoE monitoring
• Identify and monitor QoE issues/events on 2G, 3G, LTE and CDMA networks
• RAN network cell site survey
• Cell tower signal and range measurement

LTE Test Scanner

R&S has developed LTE drive test scanner model numbers R&S®TSMW and R&S®TSME, which has following features:
•  The scanner supports TD-LTE and LTE FDD frame structures/topologies.
•  There is no limitation on number of cells to be measured. It supports scanning of all the 504 Physical Cell IDs.
•   LTE drive test scanner TSMW supports MIMO measurements with R&S®TSMW-K30 MIMO option.
•  Measures MIB and SIB informations transmitted by eNBs, refer LTE system information blocks for more information on these messages.
•  Supports for other multiple RATs e.g. GSM, WCDMA, CDMA200, 1xEVDO, WiMAX 802.16e, TETRA, TD-SCDMA, LTE FDD, TD-LTE, RF Powerscan etc.


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