Evaluating New IEEE 802.11ax 6-GHz Band WLAN Performance using Network Mode

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All-in-one MT8862A supports Network-Mode measurements of 6-GHz band WLAN equipment with 160-MHz wide channels

 

Anritsu Corporation has extended the functions of the company’s Wireless Connectivity Test Set MT8862A by supporting the evaluation of IEEE 802.11ax 6-GHz band WLAN TRX characteristics.

Following FCC approval in April 2020 for unlicensed use of the 6-GHz operation band as the first new WLAN frequency band in almost 20 years, countries worldwide are starting device testing and deployment. The IEEE 802.11ax WLAN standard regulates this 6-GHz band and the Wi-Fi Alliance is starting its Wi-Fi 6E certification program for IEEE 802.11ax 6-GHz devices.

The MT8862A is designed to evaluate RF TRX performance of IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax WLAN devices. Additionally, as well as implementing all-in-one 2.4, 5, and 6-GHz band RF TRX measurements, the MT8862A also supports performance evaluations defined by IEEE 802.11 standards and Over-The-Air (OTA) performance tests defined by both Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA) and the Wi-Fi Alliance.

By using this option, the MT8862A can evaluate the RF characteristics of IEEE 802.11ax 6-GHz devices using either the Network Mode or Direct Mode. In addition to shorter evaluation time using the Direct Mode, the Network Mode facilitates evaluation under actual operation conditions using signalling messages.

While developing this 6-GHz band option, Anritsu also added support for 160-MHz wide channels. Since the 6-GHz band covers a 1200-MHz wide operation band, the use of 160-MHz wide channels becomes practical, which is expected to facilitate streaming of higher-definition video and larger-capacity data than previously possible.

By supporting measurement and testing of 6-GHz band WLAN devices and 160-MHz wide channels, Anritsu expects its MT8862A to play a key role in the development of next-generation communications devices.

Development Background

Along with the spread of IoT devices, WLAN functions are being built increasingly into more mobile products, such as tablet PCs and smartphones, as well as into home electronics, including printers and TVs, automobiles, industrial machines, sensing equipment, etc.

On the other hand, communications environments with a high density of WLAN devices are suffering from a shortage of communications resources for WLAN connections, resulting in challenges such as slower communications speeds and unstable connections.

Solving these many challenges, especially the shortage of communications resources, by using the 6-GHz band will help drive the development of novel applications to promote leading-edge industrial development, which in turn, increases the urgent need for measuring instruments supporting evaluation of the RF TRX characteristics of IEEE 802.11ax 6-GHz band devices.

Anritsu has developed this option to extend the MT8862A functions by supporting the performance evaluation of IEEE 802.11ax 6-GHz band devices.

Product Outline

The Wireless Connectivity Test Set MT8862A is designed to evaluate the RF characteristics of WLAN devices.

It uses patented Anritsu technology to evaluate RF performance at all main WLAN standard IEEE 802.11ac/ax data rates currently in use. With both Network and Direct modes, it supports flexible testing of WLAN device RF TRX characteristics (TX power, modulation accuracy, RX sensitivity, etc.) matching the measurement environment.

Key Features

  • Easy Accurate Measurement using Signaling Mode: The Network Mode supports the measurement of RF TRX characteristics under actual operation conditions. As a consequence, it does not require complex operations, such as device control using special commands like those required by the direct mode, making the control line unnecessary.
  • Full Setup From Web Browser: The MT8862A is operated by connecting a PC controller over an Ethernet cable. Operation via the PC controller web-browser GUI eliminates the need to configure a measurement environment requiring the installation of software and drivers in the instrument. 

Target Markets are vendors of smartphones, smart home electronics, automobiles, IoT products, etc. with Applications being tests of WLAN device RF TRX characteristics.


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