SGS helps companies access the US wireless device market

18 January 2019

City Communication Technology SGS

Leading testing & certification business, SGS, is helping manufacturers and suppliers of wireless devices to the US market understand both CTIA Over-the-Air (OTA) Test Plan V3.8.1 and CTIA Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) OTA Test Plan V1.2.

Full compatibility with relevant wireless networks is a necessity for manufacturers and suppliers of smartphones, tablets, notebooks and other wireless devices to any global market. In the US, the CTIA (formerly known as CTIA – The Wireless Association) administers the PTCRB certification programme for GSM, UMTS and LTE wireless devices.

Set up in 1997 as a certification organisation to ensure interoperability between global wireless networks, PTCRB defines test specifications and methods for wireless equipment. Its rigorous certification process assures consumers that their device is fully compatible with relevant networks.

CTIA OTA certification is a pre-requisite before any wireless product can be offered onto the US market. It has recently been updated, meaning interested parties must now ensure they understand the changes, especially the latest versions of the CTIA OTA Test Plan, Version 3.8.1, and the CTIA MIMO OTA Test Plan, Version 1.2.

CTIA OTA Test Plan Version 3.8.1 is expected to become mandatory on May 15, 2019. It includes the following amendments:

  • Changing from individual TIS (I-TIS) to combined TIS (C-TIS) for all antenna branches in the UE (even devices with only one antenna will have their downlink radiated performance reported in terms of C-TIS)
  • Normative Wrist-Worn Device Testing (LTE, LTE Cat. M1, and LTE A-GNSS)
  • Remove conducted testing for all cellular testing
  • Require transmission of the IE p-max for TRP testing of Power Class 1 devices (high-power UE TRP testing)
  • Normative requirement for LTE Category M1
  • Added 2DL CA 70C for TRP and TIS Testing
  • Added MBS positioning radiated performance tests (Metropolitan Beacon System: 925.977 MHz)
  • Added Bluetooth OTA test methodology (Informative)
  • CA testing simplifications (including operator CA and LAA priority list)
  • Added Informative LAA (License Assisted Access: LTE TDD Band 46) Testing
  • Alternate OTA test procedure for low duty-cycle IoT devices
  • Modify the A-GNSS sensitivity test conditions for LTE Band 14
  • Test Time Reduction (eg reduced phantom test configurations)

CTIA MIMO OTA Test Plan Version 1.2 is expected to become mandatory on February 1, 2019. This contains several changes:

  • Added DML (Data Mode Landscape) - Left Tilt and DMSU (Data Mode Screen Up) in normative operating bands < 1 GHz
  • Added LTE Band 66
  • Added TDD SIR validation procedure
  • Added performance requirement in 90% MARSS outage point
  • Added Variable Reference Measurement Channel (RMC) MIMO throughput test (Informative)

Stakeholders are advised to now check their products are compliant with the latest requirements. The introduction of the latest version of the CTIA OTA Test Plan is a timely reminder that manufacturers and suppliers of wireless devices must work with a CTIA Authorised Testing Laboratory (CATL) to get certification.

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