SCTE 221 2020

Field Strength & Calculation of LTE User Equipment Field Strength

Cable operators have been measuring the field strength of over-the-air radio frequency (RF) signals for decades. For instance, most operators are required to measure signal leakage field strength. As well, it can sometimes be helpful to calculate and/or measure the field strength of certain over-the-air signals such as potential interference sources.

In late 2010, a new wireless technology called 4G, or long term evolution (LTE), was introduced in the United States. LTE service operates in several frequency bands, including the 698 MHz to 806 MHz band, which overlaps the frequency spectrum used by many cable operators to deliver services to their customers. As LTE service providers continue to deploy LTE service, the RF signals emanating from LTE towers and user equipment (UE) represent sources of potential interference to services carried on cable systems.

More recently, 5G New Radio (NR) technology is being deployed by service providers. Here, too, some 5G technology operates on over-the-air frequencies that overlap the RF spectrum used in cable networks. One example is the 600 MHz band, with UE-to-tower transmissions in the 663 MHz to 698 MHz range, and tower-to-UE transmissions in the 617 MHz to 698 MHz range.