We're oft treated to fantastic news by the FCC while devices are tested in its immense labyrinth of labs, but what we've not seen much of is the type of equipment contained within them. While the smaller Rohde & Schwarz TS8991 that we had a peek at today is used more for antenna design purposes and not by the FCC, it still offers some interesting -- and frighteningly complicated -- insight into the world of those who make your handsets work. The MIMO test we watched involved two theta positioners (which can be seen in the picture above) that rotate about the handset on the pedestal which also turns to add the azimuth in the test run. Each theta positioner has a quad ridged horn antenna, which -- aside from likely being the greatest-sounding antenna name ever -- captures the signal from the handset and eventually allows the AMS32 management system to generate a 3D pattern of the radio emissions. The system will test 2G, 3G, 4G, WiFi and Bluetooth sets, and rings in somewhere above $1,000,000. Follow on for a video and a detailed explanation that is mostly user friendly.
Zach Lutz contributed to this post.