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Testing for Coexistence in Crowded and Contested RF Environments

This white paper presents some of the key research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) challenges that arise when developing and deploying systems that need to operate in congested and/or contested RF environments.

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As our world becomes increasingly reliant on wireless communications, RF spectrum congestion and contention cause friction between incumbent users and newer, bandwidth- intensive applications such as cellular communications.

Over the last decade, the frequency bands allocated for cellular communications services that employ 3GPP technologies has increased from 11 bands to over 80 bands. In the ideal state of RF coexistence, RF signals utilize or exist in the same frequency bands and emanate from different transmitters.

The key issues facing coexistence are also discussed. Such issues include, a contested and congested spectrum, spectral sensing, spectrum sharing and dynamic spectrum allocation. The white paper concludes with an overview of the test systems that are used to create realistic RF environments that provide real-world operational conditions in a controlled laboratory environment.