Mobile Communication Testing Facilities

The mobile communication testing facilities operated by Fraunhofer IIS are located in Erlangen and Ilmenau and provide an ideal test environment for consulting and measurement and research activities. The testing facilities support the most recent LTE-A standard and allow field-testing as well as lab tests in a controlled environment.

Fraunhofer IIS researchers are investigating mobile communication technologies for 4G and future 5G networks.
LTE (Long Term Evolution) Advanced is the wireless broadband technology that can cope with the massive increase in mobile data demand, and deliver much higher data speeds for all. That means better coverage, greater stability, and faster delivery.
5G as a comprehensive standard for wireless communications is applicable not only to mobile broadband, but also to new applications like the networking of vehicles.

Three different types of mobile communication testing facilities are offered:

  1. Over-the-air field testing (Erlangen and vicinity)
  2. Wired testing in lab (Erlangen-Tennenlohe)
  3. Testing in the FORTE over-the-air test chamber with wave field synthesis (Ilmenau)

Technical features

Unlike commercial networks, the testbed in Erlangen is fully controlled by Fraunhofer IIS and based on commercial equipment. The mobile communication network uses experimental frequency licenses at 700 MHz (FDD). An important feature is the configurable background traffic to examine the behavior of applications for different network loads, as well as the broadcast/multicast functionality (eMBMS).

For the over-the-air tests in Erlangen and vicinity, base stations (eNB) are installed at two sites:

  1. Stadtwerke tower in Erlangen center (height 135 m)
  2. The tower on the Fraunhofer premises (height 55 m)

Additionally, managed WiFi nodes are installed inside the Fraunhofer premises.

The wired lab testing facilities include other equipment like a “LTE UE tester” for in-depth performance and protocol analysis.

The Fraunhofer IIS testbed is complemented by an eNB in the FORTE facility – a facility for over-the-air testing and research at the IIS branch in Ilmenau. FORTE offers MIMO wave field synthesis to study the performance of a UE including antenna effects for LTE and other wireless transmission standards in fully reproducible propagation channel conditions.



As a research partner, we offer access to our open testing facilities for studies with an LTE-Advanced network fully controlled by IIS and with configurable network load.


Testing and measurement services

  • Companies wishing to employ LTE-A for their hardware and software applications: validation in the field / in the lab
  • Detailed investigations on Quality of Service (QoS) for existing and new services, such as distribution of city-information, smart metering, telemetry and connected cars
  • Coexistence and interference studies, e.g. short range devices (SRD) interfered by mobile communication frequencies



  • Expertise and experimentation on the broadcast feature called “enhanced Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service” (eMBMS)
  • Expertise for deployment of private company networks


Research and development

  • Development and over-the-air test of equipment for use in LTE-A or future 5G networks, e.g. M2M
  • Backhauling over satellite or microwave links
  • Analysis of extensions of the LTE (Advanced) standard
  • Examination of techniques for future 5G networks

Mobile broadband communication