High power passive intermodulation measurements are essential in order to reveal network problems.
The Quality of Service (QoS) issues that arise as a result of passive intermodulation can directly impact a Mobile Network Operator’s (MNO) ability to retain customer loyalty and minimise churn. For MNO’s an effective PIM management strategy is essential to improve quality and increase revenue.
In order to represent real-traffic network conditions PIM measurements must be made at the base station radio power level or higher. PIM tests that are performed at low power can mask the presence of passive intermodulation in the network. The ability to exceed the current 20W specification gives operators much more measurement confidence and with UMTS and LTE carrier power levels likely to be specified at 40W the ability to test at these levels will become mandatory.
PIM Testing at 40W
Communications Components Inc.’s (CCI) range of precision Passive Intermodulation (PIM) testers provide 40W PIM testing for all of the current and proposed mobile communications standards including LTE, UMTS, GSM900 and GSM 1800. This comprehensive range of solutions, available from Electro Rent Europe, means that Mobile Network Operators can be assured that their PIM testing requirements can be met now and in the future.
Peter Jackson, European Director for CCI commented: “In order to better represent real-traffic network conditions, PIM measurements should be performed at the BTS radio power level, or slightly higher. Testing for PIM at 40W has been demonstrated as a more stringent network test and a device that meets the desired PIM performance at 2W, may well fail if subjected to higher power levels of 20W or 40W. PIM tests that are performed at low power can also mask the presence of PIM, and although performing PIM testing at 40W is considered to be a more stringent test then is currently required, it exposes a cell site’s PIM vulnerabilities in a significantly more quantitative manner leaving little room for conjecture as to the integrity of the devices or components under test.”
The CCI PIMPro 900 is a full band unit, for use across the whole 900 band, which includes E-GSM, UMTS900 and LTE band 8. The PIMPro 1800 is a full band unit for whole of the 1800 band, applicable for GSM1800, LTE Band 3 and LTE Band 9. PIMPro is a ruggedized, field tool, with a flexible, touch screen, icon driven user interface, which enables PIM testing to be done swiftly, efficiently and with confidence by the field technician. As a compact, easy-to-use and fully portable unit it can be moved readily to the point of test, allowing a logical measurement process to be followed in order to troubleshoot PIM events efficiently.
Rent or Buy
Electro Rent Europe can provide CCI’s range of PIMPro PIM analyzers on a sale, rental, lease or rent-purchase basis. By using Electro Rent Europe’s services MNO’s can get immediate access to the PIM solutions they need for their current technology and then migrate to new solutions as their technology evolves. In addition by renting or leasing MNOs can shift their equipment investment from capital to operational expenditure minimising their balance sheet exposure.
David Saeys, General Manager for Electro Rent Europe commented, “At Electro Rent we always aim to keep pace with the technology demands of our customers. PIM testing is a critical issue in mobile communications. The challenge is to provide solutions that match the developments in mobile communications technology. CCI’s range of PIM testers is comprehensive and addresses all the current needs of our customers. In addition we know that CCI, as a well-established company committed to this industry, will continue to develop its products to meet our customers’ needs. By offering sales, rental and leasing services for CCI’s products we are helping our customers gain access to the testing solutions they need today while ensuring that we can continue to meet their requirements for the future.”
Passive intermodulation is one of the greatest challenges in today’s mobile communication systems. Passive intermodulation arises due the signal degradation effects of passive elements within the transmission system. An incorrectly torqued connection, poorly maintained equipment, minor damage to an antenna or even a rusty bolt can result in two or more frequencies clashing. PIM can affect any RF-based communications system but as mobile transmissions rates rise to 100MB/s and beyond it is now accepted that PIM is an industry benchmark in determining the health of a cell site.
Read more about high power PIM testing on http://www.electrorent-europe.com/pim-test/