Field Testing

Wireless Research Center of NC Secures Three Portable Towers, Establishing Portable Wireless Network Testing

Testing for rural internet and next generation communications now viable throughout NC

Wireless Research NC Antennas


The Wireless Research Center of North Carolina (WRC) has acquired three portable radio towers, thanks to a grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation. This expands WRC’s support of wireless technology expansion throughout North Carolina.

The self-supporting towers along with National Instruments equipment will be used to support the design, development and deployment of fixed wireless networks for a wide range of services throughout the state.


  • These services will include the delivery and expansion of rural broadband connectivity.
  • Supporting telemedicine
  • Working with Utilities and Communities on smart metering Network
  • Developing advanced air-to-ground networks for commercial aviation and unmanned air systems (UAS).
  • The Center will also be working with communities to expand their emergency service networks.


  • 3 -106’ Aluma Towers TM5370
    • Powered with an onboard 10Kw diesel generator for remote site use
    • 30amp shore power inlet (NEMA L14-30) with automatic power transfer switch for easy access to available power
    • Multiple antenna mount capability
    • 4’ x 2’ NEMA secure enclosure with 19’ racking
  • Radio Equipment
    • National Instruments Vector Signal Transceivers
    • Combined vector signal analyzer and generator in one package
    • Built-in support for many wireless standards including GSM, WCDMA, LTE, and WLAN
    • Reprogrammable FPGA for maximum flexibility in radio applications
    • Up to 4 simultaneous wideband channels supports MIMO testing
    • Agilent/Keysight Field Fox N9918A
      • The ultimate portable signal analysis tool
      • Spectrum analyzer, vector network analyzer, cable analyzer, vector voltmeter, and more
      • Built-in GPS
      • Rugged, MIL-spec construction


Demand for access to reliable high-speed internet is increasing exponentially.  Communities outside of the largest metropolitan areas will require fixed wireless networks to provide Internet access, in order to deliver services equivalent to those offered in the urban center of North Carolina where extensive fiber coverage exists. The use of the portable towers will facilitate the expansion of existing wireless networks and the introduction of emerging technologies that support greater connectivity.

SmartSky Networks is an emerging Charlotte-based corporation that recently announced the deployment of a nationwide 4G terrestrial network. The use of the portable towers allows SmartSky Networks flexibility during its initial stages of deployment.

Access to these capabilities will benefit a broad range of initiatives throughout the state. The WRC works closely with the NC Department of Commerce, the NextGen Air Transportation (NGAT) Center at North Carolina State University, the North Carolina Defense Business Association (NCDBA), the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster (RTCC), and other organizations throughout the state.