Skip to main content

BBU Emulation

BBU Emulation Infographic 

Content Today’s 4G base stations integrate multiple technologies that range from traditional RF cables and fiber optic lines to small cells and macro cells. This integration is part of a decade-long evolution that has also seen radios ascend from the base station on the ground to atop the tower, with a baseband unit (BBU) installed in the equipment room. While this progression has helped reduce operating expenses (OpEX), new test challenges have arisen.

Placing remote radio heads (RRHs) atop network towers has changed base station deployment. The RRH is installed with the fiber optic cable, antennas and other elements, followed by the commissioning of the BBU. This process has led to more time and expense being associated with network deployment. BBU emulation addresses this problem by providing the following benefits: 

  1. Faster turn up time. This means revenue can be collected faster by mobile operators and contractors enjoy higher profits.
  2. Lower OpEx. This advantage relates to existing sites and new deployments.

Research has shown that 3-6 truck rolls are typically necessary to fully install a new site. One crew installs the RRH and associated elements while a second team commissions the BBU. When that is finished, testing begins and if there is a failure, the original crew must return to make the repair. The BBU crew will then come back a second time to verify the base station.  

BBU emulation streamlines the process because it permits technicians to test the RRH infrastructure without a commissioned BBU. Tests are made with the construction equipment still at the site. If repairs are necessary, the crew is there to perform them.

BBU emulation can also be used to monitor and test existing base stations. The current approach is to replace the BBU once there is an issue. The RRH is replaced if the same problem continues. BBU emulation makes this approach obsolete, thereby eliminating any associated “No Trouble Found” (NTF) costs.

The benefits of BBU emulation can be realized using an appropriately configured handheld analyzer, such as the Anritsu BTS Master™ MT8220T, and Network Master™ Pro MT100A.

You can learn more about BBU emulation by downloading this infographic:


Image of BBU Use Case diagram

What do I need to Test When Installing Base Stations? - Compare models

ALU/Nokia MKTs
Samsung/Ericsson Mkts

Anritsu Test

Fiber Check
SFP Data
PDF Results
BBU Emulation
CPRI Physical
Layer BERT
Layer Errors/
SFP Test
Initialize RRH
RRH Downlink
Return Loss/
MT1000A Network Master™ Pro
MT8220T BTS Master™


Listen to this informative webinar which introduces the fundamentals of BBU Emulation, as well as CPRI RF testing in general. It also explains the potential savings in cost, operating expense and time required for testing, close-out and deployment.

BBU Emulation: Saving Time, Saving Money, Saving Headaches


View this video for a brief demonstration of Mobile Base Station testing of FTTA, BBU emulation and CPRI verification followed by 100Gbps Ethernet optical throughput and next generation pluggable transceiver testing for data center and high speed networks using the MT1000A Network Master™ Pro all-in-one field portable tester.

Anritsu MT1000A Network Master Pro All-in-One Field Portable Tester


CPRI Supported with Anritsu MT1000A Poster