Re-imagining 5G Broadband with mm-Wave

Re-imagining 5G Broadband with mm-Wave

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- Philip Handley, Smart DCC Ltd.

The Challenge

Starry is re-imagining broadband access by developing an ecosystem of products designed to simplify and improve our connected lives.

At the centre of this is a proprietary pre-standard 5G mmWave technology that offers Starry’s customers high-speed broadband access, the vital ‘last mile’ delivery stage for any broadband provider.

Testing a pre-standard technology at mm-Wave frequencies in mass production takes fresh thinking.

Connectorised ports are not desirable for multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) devices at mmWave frequencies, so a radiated test setup is required.

This is the conventional way for laboratory testing, but when you have a mass produced product, creating a high volume automated test setup is no mean feat.

The Approach

Plextek built a series of custom anechoic chambers and an automated over the air test system that could confirm correct operation of Starry’s proprietary pre-standard 5G protocol.

Plextek worked closely with Starry Engineers, adapting the test station as the product evolved during NPI (New Product Introduction).

All systems were built in the UK and deployed to Starry sites in Boston, and Texas in the USA.

The Outcome

Plextek’s test chambers were deployed on-time to meet Starry’s aggressive production schedule allowing full over the air test coverage of an NPI product.

Starry subsequently adopted a similar system for their regression testing, as part of a continuous development pipeline process.

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