Over-the-air (OTA) testing is used to measure the performance of wireless radio or IoT devices in simulated real-world conditions. It is a way to ensure that the wireless devices will perform as intended by measuring the transmitting and receiving performance of the entire device as a whole with its installed antenna(s). The wireless transmission and reception performance can be severely affected when antennas are placed inside devices such as tablets, laptops, mobile phones, IoT devices, etc. An increasing number of industry standards driven by a rapid growth of wireless IoT and M2M devices require OTA testing for certification.

A free space environment is set up in an anechoic chamber with the wireless device under test on a low dielectric support capable of rotation in azimuth (theta) and elevation (phi) axes to obtain 3-dimensional measurements. OTA testing includes:

  • TRP (Total Radiated Power) testing: A 3-dimensional characterization of the transmitter performance by measuring the radiated transmit power of the device at spatial locations around the wireless device under test.
  • TIS (Total Isotropic Sensitivity) testing: A 3-dimensional characterization of the receiver performance of a device is determined by measuring the effective receiver sensitivity by using Bit Error Rate (BER) or Frame Error Rate (FER) at spatial locations surrounding the device.

OTA testing can also be used to measure the performance of an antenna alone by measuring transmit or receive gain at spatial locations around the device allowing the measurement of parameters such as average and peak gain, efficiency, VSWR and directivity. It is also useful for generating 3D images of antenna performance.

Want to learn more about why OTA testing is important for real world reliability of wireless products and emerging standards that will make over-the-air (OTA) testing mandatory, please visit Rohde and Schwarz online material “Demystifying Over-The-Air (OTA) testing“.

Contact us today to find out how we can help with your product development and requirements under mobile network integration requirements or agreements. This type of testing is becoming more prominent in the telecoms industry (network operators like Telstra, Optus etc) and EMC Technologies provide Over The Air (OTA) testing in Australia along with other testing, certification and approvals including telecommunications, cellular and iOT compliance.