Reaching an inflection point in 5G device testing

Reaching an inflection point in 5G device testing

Reaching an inflection point in 5G device testing

What you will learn:

  • The evolution of cellular and device testing from 4G LTE to 5G cellular and device testing.
  • Current 5G application testing requirements.

The 5G wireless technology standard is one of the fastest and most robust technologies available to consumers. Slowly replacing 4G around the world, 5G is providing better bandwidth with higher peak data speeds, lower latency and better uniformity.

While 4G was designed for cellular phones, 5G boasts the flexibility to connect machines, objects, and devices – better while replacing the way we use connected devices today and the need for more specialized technologies. represent. In addition to accelerating global technology innovation, 5G introduces use cases in industrial IoT (ie, machine-to-machine communication) and ultra-low latency (eg, remote medical operations).

The development of 5G depends on the development of two other major technologies. The first, Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), supports peak data rates for large amounts of users; It expands services enabled by 4G LTE to meet technical needs more efficiently.

Second, ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC), a subset of 5G network architectures focused on enabling efficient data-transfer scheduling, shorter transmissions, and overlapping transmissions. Emerging applications in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) require networks to have low-latency capabilities, and URLCC offers that robustness to accommodate.

third generation partnership project (3GGP), an organization unifying telecommunications standards development organizations, provides a framework for achieving advances such as accommodating higher frequencies – enabling technological development and guiding seamless development through the 5G lifecycle. Is.

Generational change in communication technologies

When new mobile wireless technologies emerge, companies choose to invest in high-performance, general-purpose test equipment for initial research and development. Then, in the form of standards, they migrate to low-cost, purpose-built equipment to test accordingly. By 2019, companies were positioning themselves to quickly-release 5G by purchasing general-purpose equipment, but many decided to step up their 4G test technology instead.

4G LTE and early 5G devices have accommodated the rapid expansion in global communications. However, attacks from low-latency applications (eg, gaming, real-time streaming, video) are encouraging more and more providers (eg, AT&T, Verizon, etc.) to upgrade to standalone 5G core networks. .

Today, companies face the inflection point that inevitably arises as wireless technologies advance. Just as 4G evolved into early-release 5G, with the new network architecture, 5G will begin to look like early-release 6G. Existing equipment that may be pulled from 4G is not going to cover the full spectrum of 5G testing.

Cellular and Device Testing Today

5G is unique in its requirements, so companies cannot rely on general-purpose test equipment that was used early in 5G research and development, or radio communications testers that were initially designed for 4G/LTE. It continues to evolve, with new applications being added in each release.

So, in addition to RF measurement and signaling tests, here are some of the specific application testing requirements we see today, which will continue to evolve as we move towards 6G.

  • IP Throughput Testing: Complex tests help scenario designers meet data rate expectations. Testing maximum throughput in 5G is more challenging today due to factors such as new radio resources and greater bandwidth.
  • Audio and Video Quality: Voice over New Radio (VoNR) audio quality and audio performance testing are essential for maximum voice performance and superior user experience. Voice-over-5G test systems must meet complex requirements and support codecs for VoNR, Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and beyond.
  • battery life: With high-performance, high-throughput applications, 5G brings significant power-consumption challenges; Yet users still expect extended battery life. Meeting those expectations requires analyzing battery consumption for different scenarios and use cases.
  • IP Security: Data and IP security is paramount in today’s highly connected world. Especially for devices that manage or store sensitive data, it is important for developers to focus on testing and identifying vulnerable spots in their applications and mobile designs that could threaten IP connection security and/or Or may fail to meet regulatory compliance requirements.

As the foundation of 5G becomes more stable and more 3GPP features are adopted and commercialized, there is a greater need for purpose-built test equipment that will handle any new standards, capabilities or applications introduced by 5G. be able to Innovation adds complexity by increasing the number of features and by changing the way base stations and phones interact with each other. Today, companies must integrate new testing techniques over (or in addition to) legacy technologies established for previous generations.

For example, VoNR is a mandatory feature for a successful 5G standalone deployment. The advantage of VoNR is the vastly improved voice audio quality by using ultra-high-definition codecs.

Addressing this need, the CMX500 Radio Communications Tester was developed by Rohde and Schwarzo Capable of testing 5G NR devices in both standalone and non-standalone (NSA), TDD, and FDD modes. The CMX500 supports all codecs required for VoNR audio quality testing such as AMR-NB, AMR-WB, EVS-NB, EVS-WB, EVS-SWB, and EVS-FB, including Audio Quality Analysis (POLQA).

Capable of testing sub-6-GHz (FR1) and mmWave (FR2) frequency bands, the R&S CMX500 radio communications test solution is an integrated test for signaling and non-signaling testing through all phases of the 5G device development cycle for production Enables environment.

Apart from this, 5G VoNR is also playing an important role in emergency services. Emergency calls (E911) on 5G standalone networks will use VoNR. Critical to FCC requirements is the continued reliability of E911 voice calls as well as the precise determination of vertical and horizontal location in mobile devices. The R&S CMX500 radio communication tester supports the E911 over VoNR with associated locating technologies such as A-GNSS and AML/ELS.


Meeting the demands of the entire 5G technology cycle is no small feat. Fortunately, the industry has seen this film before. The evolution of 5G promises to be similar to the development of LTE. At the end of LTE’s life cycle, the industry saw technologies such as LTE-Advanced and LTE-Advanced Pro, which enhanced test equipment and test systems for greater bandwidth and capabilities.

The same would be true for 5G. Opening up bandwidth means separating the LTE/FR1 and FR2 series to enable better RF resource deployment and support for multiple applications on a flexible basis. radio communication testers, such as R&S CMX500may meet this challenge as a new test platform that supports legacy technologies (eg, LTE), current technologies (eg, 5G FR1, 5G FR2; NSA) and developed technologies (eg, 5G NR SA) .

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