Rohde & Schwarz Enables Qualcomm to Pioneer New Frequency Ranges

R&S SMW200A vector signal generator and R&S FSW signal and spectrum analyzer

As we transition into the era of 5G-Advanced and eventually 6G, there is increasing discussion within global regulatory bodies and industry groups about a third frequency range, known as FR3 or upper-midband. Rohde & Schwarz‘s technology is instrumental in enabling Qualcomm Technologies to demonstrate the readiness and effectiveness of their latest RF modem technology for FR3.

Rohde & Schwarz is dedicated to creating a safer and more connected world through its Test & Measurement, Technology Systems, and Networks & Cybersecurity Divisions. With a history spanning 90 years, this global technology group has consistently pushed the boundaries of innovation in cutting-edge technologies. Their advanced products and solutions empower industrial, regulatory, and government customers to achieve technological and digital sovereignty.

As a privately owned company headquartered in Munich, Rohde & Schwarz operates independently, focusing on long-term and sustainable growth. In the 2022/2023 fiscal year (July to June), the company achieved a net revenue of EUR 2.78 billion and employed approximately 13,800 people worldwide as of June 30, 2023. Qualcomm is at the forefront of enabling a world where seamless connectivity is a reality for everyone and everything.

The unified technology roadmap empowers us to efficiently expand the groundbreaking technologies that sparked the mobile revolution. These include cutting-edge connectivity solutions, high-performance computing, low-power consumption, on-device intelligence, and more. Qualcomm’s innovations are poised to drive cloud-edge convergence, reshape industries, accelerate the digital economy, and redefine our interaction with the world, all for the greater good.

Qualcomm Incorporated encompasses a licensing business, QTL, and the majority of Rohde & Schwarz’s patent portfolio. Meanwhile, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, oversees engineering, research and development activities, as well as the bulk of products and services, including semiconductor business, QCT. Products bearing the Snapdragon and Qualcomm brands are developed by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries, while Qualcomm Incorporated licenses its patented technologies.

During the recent World Radio Conference 2023 in Dubai, hosted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), regulatory bodies and industry leaders reached a consensus to explore additional spectra for the upcoming generation of mobile communication, officially known as IMT-2030 or 6G. One key decision was to study the 14.8 to 15.35 GHz frequency range globally. Moreover, local agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States are considering the upper 12 GHz band (12.7 to 13.25 GHz) for future wireless applications.

In preparation for these advancements, Rohde & Schwarz, a leading provider of test and measurement solutions for the wireless industry, has facilitated Qualcomm Technologies, a pioneer in wireless system technology, to showcase the readiness and effectiveness of the Giga-MIMO system for future infrastructure. This system promises improved data performance while offering coverage similar to current 5G massive MIMO networks operating at 3.5 GHz.

Qualcomm Technologies validated the performance of its prototype using equipment from Rohde & Schwarz, including the R&S SMW200A vector signal generator and R&S FSW signal and spectrum analyzer. This setup featured specialized firmware designed for testing various subcarrier spacings with wider signal bandwidths than current 3GPP physical layer specifications. These wider bandwidths are expected to enable higher data rates and lower latency.

Andreas Pauly, Chief Technology Officer at Rohde & Schwarz, expressed excitement about continuing to support Qualcomm Technologies and exploring the new frontier of mobile communications together. He highlighted the importance of their tailored test solutions in advancing research for 5G-Advanced and 6G networks. Furthermore, he noted that exploring the possibilities of the FR3 frequency range lays the foundations for the success of future mobile applications.

Tingfang Ji, Vice President of Engineering at Qualcomm Wireless Research, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., expressed their dedication to pioneering the next generation of mobile technologies. They extended gratitude to Rohde & Schwarz for their support in realizing this vision. Qualcomm’s focus on enabling Giga-MIMO in the upper midband for wide-area coverage is seen as laying the groundwork for 6G and a significant advancement in wireless communication.

At MWC Barcelona, Rohde & Schwarz will showcase a high-performance signal generation and analysis setup for early FR3 research. This setup features the new R&S SMW200A, which boasts a redesigned front panel and user interface and also substantial enhancements in EVM performance. The R&S FSVA3000 includes specialized features such as IQ noise cancellation, ensuring exceptional EVM measurement performance through a noise-corrected measurement path.

At the Mobile World Congress 2024, Rohde & Schwarz is set to showcase its extensive range of testing solutions tailored for the mobile industry. Among the highlights will be a live demonstration illustrating the company’s cutting-edge capabilities in signal generation and analysis for FR3 signals. To explore these innovations, attendees can visit Rohde & Schwarz’s booth at hall 5, booth 5A80, located at the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona.


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