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Understanding PIM Testing (Part 2 of 2)

As discussed in part one of this blog series, Passive Intermodulation (PIM) is becoming more and more important as wireless users demand data with high speeds. It affects network speed and performance, therefore, needs to be actively monitored, making PIM testing a basic requirement. This is especially true today because of fourth generation (4G) networks increasing mobile data rates, which exposes PIM vulnerabilities. Good network PIM performance and PIM testing are now imperative in order to maintain customer loyalty.

Testing for PIM

PIM testing helps ensure that all antenna system components meet the required performance standards and improves the level of quality assurance. When a site is PIM tested, two test tones are used to generate a known PIM signal (called IM3). The PIM test set is tuned to accurately measure IM3, and the lower the PIM level, the higher the component and installation quality.

Locating PIM

PIM sources can be located by many different methods. A traditional method uses a visual inspection along with tapping or manipulation to test suspect connections or parts. Another method is the use of PIM testing equipment. The testing equipment transmits two high power signals into the line or device under test. If the test signals run into a non-linear junction, mixing occurs causing the PIM frequencies to be generated.

PIM Testing Equipment

On-site PIM testing ensures not only the quality of our installation, but also the real-world performance of antennas, coax, connectors, jumpers and other inline components. The PIM test equipment measures the magnitude of the PIM signal generated by the test signals and displays this information to the test operator.

Because today’s mobile handset users expect a consistently high throughput from their devices, PIM testing has become increasingly important among networks. Unrepaired PIM problems can impact service, requiring expensive repairs to restore your site’s performance.

If you are looking for an experienced cable contractor for wireless network installation, CTS Cabling is highly knowledgeable in Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) and fiber optics installation. To learn more about CTS Cabling and our innovative services, or to speak with an experienced cable contractor, call 877-685-2626 or contact us online.

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