In 5G, the propagation characteristics of the high frequency RF carrier (28GHz) require Beam Forming to account for Non Line-Of-Sight conditions, which can cause signals to dropout and calls to fall back to 4GLTE. This happens because the 100MHz RF carrier is very sensitive to anything blocking it’s path.
Beam Forming is used to find alternate, hopefully unblocked, paths between the base station and subscriber. For a 10ms transmission, up to 28 separate beams can be generated. So, Beam Management is also crucial to ensure great 5G performance.
Traditional spectrum analyzers may be able to measure the spectral power of a 100MHz 5G carrier. However, since it is so important to analyze NLOS signals, the entire carrier must also be demodulated in order to analyze the beams.
When researching 5G test sets, be sure to look for ones that are capable of both the 28GHz band as well as being able to measure the NLOS components by demodulating the entire 100MHz carrier.