Canadian software-defined spectrum analysis company ThinkRF has racked up another big testing partnership, this time working with Viavi Solutions to produce a downconverter that extends the capabilities of Viavi’s existing 2G/3G/LTE CellAdvisor equipment into “5G” frequencies, including 27-30 GHz.

“The ability to monitor high-frequency 5G signals is becoming a necessity, but many existing spectrum analyzers are unable to detect signals in these bands of the future,” said Nikhil Adnani, ThinkRF CTO. He added that by utilizing ThinkRF’s software-defined radio technologies, the company was able to create “a platform that is portable, versatile, and easy to use so users can extend existing spectrum analysis equipment to cover 5G waveforms.”

The ThinkRF D2030 Downconverter is currently available, and the two companies said that it is “designed specifically to extend the range of all existing analyzers and test equipment into the next generation 5G spectrum”, with a compact form factor.

“Through this collaboration with ThinkRF, we can address a key requirement from our customers to extend the investment they have made in their test and measurement equipment to 5G spectrum,” said Jim Neuens, Viavi’s marketing director for metro and radio frequency test. “We worked closely with ThinkRF to create a product that has the size, weight and power requirements needed for remote, distributed and lab deployments.”

Neuens added that, “What we developed with ThinkRF is clearly a game-changer for many industries that need a cost-effective solution to address the opportunities that 5G creates.”

This is ThinkRF’s second major test collaboration this year. In September, ThinkRF became the first third-party vendor to directly interface with Keysight Technologies’ 89600 vector signal analyzer software. That collaboration utilized ThinkRF’s R550 real-time spectrum analyzer and was aimed at enabling wider use of Keysight’s software.

In October, ThinkRF garnered $5 million in new funding to help it pursue its goal to “capture a significant share of the spectrum analyzer market, which is expected to reach $1.75 billion US by 2022,” and accelerate the growth of the company. ThinkRF went on to established a U.S. subsidiary in the Washington, D.C. metro area earlier this month.

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