Roke Manor Research, the electronics research and development business owned by Siemens, has invested £200,000 in the UK’s first mobile antenna testing facility to be accredited capable of meeting the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) testing requirements. All mobile handset manufacturers wishing to sell handsets in the United States have a legal requirement to undergo the CTIA’s rigorous over-the-air antenna performance testing. EMC test equipment specialists EMV provided the system and software for the chamber, which was installed at Roke Manor’s headquarters in Romsey, Hampshire by ETS-Lindgren
The tests carried out in the facility examine the connectivity of the handset, the quality of an antenna’s transmission and reception signals and detect manufacturing faults. As well as ensuring the end user has a guaranteed level of quality, the CTIA’s standards allow network providers to quickly evaluate new phones to be introduced to the market.
“Over-the-air measurements are a new addition to the test and measurement requirement of the mobile handset market and require a dedicated facility such as the one we have installed at Roke Manor,” explains Martin Wiles, Senior RF Engineer, ETS-Lindgren. “The CTIA is currently the only organisation which produces over-the-air performance tests. Although these standards are not yet enforced in Europe and Asia, new test methods and performance criteria are expected to become mandatory in the near future. Most major manufacturers produce products for the global market, so CTIA compliance testing is becoming a matter of course.”
“We have had the facility installed to support our existing customers in the mobile handset space with the development of EMC and antenna systems. The chamber itself can be used up to 100GHz but the facility is optimised for mobile handset antenna testing. It enables us to determine the efficiency and performance of integrated mobile antennas and optimise the design appropriately,” says Roger Hopper Principal Group Manager, Roke Manor Research. “We currently have six projects undergoing testing in the chamber and are in the process of bidding for a number of high profile contracts.”