Open RF Association Member Spotlight: Rohde & Schwarz

Open RF Association Member Rohde & Schwarz is a market leader in the mobile and wireless communications sector, offering a comprehensive portfolio of Test & Measurement (T&M) instruments and systems for the development, production and acceptance testing of components and consumer devices. Markus Loerner, Market Segment Manager RF & Microwave Components at Rohde & Schwarz, recently sat down with us to discuss why Rohde & Schwarz joined OpenRF and the benefits of membership in the association.

  1. Can you provide a brief overview of Rohde & Schwarz? What products/services do you offer?

On the T&M side, Rohde & Schwarz provides test solutions for all RF and data center test requirements, including the RF front-end for mobile phones. We also provide a lot of test and measurement equipment for evolving Beyond 5G technologies, RAN infrastructure, such as O-RAN, and also for other wireless technologies, including WiFi, Bluetooth or UWB .  Moreover, we offer dedicated products and solutions for Automotive and Aerospace & Defense applications such as a radar target simulator for automotive radars.

  1. Why did Rohde & Schwarz join the OpenRF Association? What are the main benefits and advantages for member companies?

The OpenRF initiative is interesting, and an important push forward. Joining OpenRF provides companies with many benefits and advantages. For us, it’s understanding the test requirements, and making sure our roadmap meets the requirements of our customers. OpenRF makes the process more streamlined and faster and helps us to support the overall ecosystem.

For OEMs who are also among our customers, it can be a challenge trying to integrate different RF front-end modules. OpenRF is trying to simplify everything. Standardization of front-end modules is a major benefit to them., as front-end manufacturers offer drop-in replacements and an ecosystem of products that are easily deployable for the device manufacturers.

  1. What specific expertise does Rohde & Schwarz bring to the OpenRF Association? How does your company plan to participate?

We want to have a quick and easy test solution in order to be compliant with the standard, to support our customers on the RF front-end manufacturing side.

Rohde & Schwarz has a long track record in interoperability and certification testing for cellular technologies. We can leverage this expertise in our work for the Open RF Association. And we are not only a part of OpenRF, but other standardization efforts as well, so we have a deep understanding the different standardization processes. We plan to participate by actively joining various working groups and are active in the Compliance Working Group.

  1. What do you see as OpenRF’s impact within the industry? What is the importance of an open 5G ecosystem of interoperable hardware and software across RF front-end and chipset platforms?

We see interoperability is the most important piece. The goal of standardization is to make it really easy for OEMs to choose from an ecosystem of best-in-class products and decide what fits best inside their environment rather than being limited as they are going down one particular path. Right now, if they switch to a product from to a different vendor, they have to essentially reinvent the wheel to ensure that new product fully integrates with their solution. Now, with OpenRF providing the standards, it makes everything much easier for them to have options that have been tested and that they know are interoperable.