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Many new 5G networks comply with the “Non-standalone” network architecture where the network is
supported by the existing LTE infrastructure. As a result, when deploying a new 5G network, it is often
necessary to also validate the performance and coverage of the existing LTE base stations.
Many 5G base stations, often referred to as gNB, have a very different physical construction from an LTE
base station. New antenna technologies to facilitate beam steering have been developed using active
antenna systems with multiple active elements. These antennas integrate RF amplifiers and phase shifters
behind each element. The result is that many 5G base stations do not provide an RF test port to facilitate
traditional base station measurements. This has led away from direct measurements at a test port towards
over-the-air (OTA) measurements that are performed many meters in front of the antenna showing a
change in the installation test philosophy. This paper will cover all the RF measurements commonly required
by regulators and network operators installing and maintaining 5G base stations.