Rohde & Schwarz First to Test 5G eCall Interoperability of Quectel’s 5G Module

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The European Commission initiative to update the eCall standards and legislation to transition eCall to 4G and 5G networks is ongoing

Quectel Wireless Solutions, a leading provider of IoT solutions worldwide, and Rohde & Schwarz have collaborated to validate Quectel’s cutting-edge 5G eCall module, a key component of the AG56xN series of automotive modules. The validation process involved utilizing the R&S CMX500 wideband radio communication tester. This successful test setup will be showcased at Mobile World Congress 2024.

Striving for a safer and interconnected world, Rohde & Schwarz operates through its Test & Measurement, Technology Systems, and Networks & Cybersecurity Divisions. With a 90-year legacy, this global technology group continually pushes the boundaries of innovation in cutting-edge technologies. Their advanced products and solutions empower industrial, regulatory, and government clients to achieve technological and digital sovereignty.

As a privately owned company based in Munich, Rohde & Schwarz maintains its independence, ensuring long-term and sustainable operations. In the fiscal year 2022/2023 (July to June), the company reported net revenue of EUR 2.78 billion. As of June 30, 2023, Rohde & Schwarz employed approximately 13,800 individuals worldwide. Introduced in 2015, eCall is an automatic emergency call system required for all new vehicles sold within the European Union since 2018.

Currently reliant on 2G/3G cellular networks, these systems are set to transition to the latest 4G/5G networks as the older networks are phased out. The European Commission is in the process of updating eCall standards and legislation to facilitate this transition. The automotive industry will require NGeCall test solutions to incorporate the new NGeCall functions into eCall modules. Additionally, a forthcoming Chinese eCall standard is expected to necessitate the use of 4G/5G networks as well.

The AG56xN series stands as a leading collection of 5G NR modules, utilizing the MediaTek MT2735 chipset to deliver outstanding connectivity solutions. These modules are designed to support 5G Rel-15, offering impressive data rates of up to 4.0 Gbps for downloads and 480 Mbps for uploads over a 200 MHz bandwidth. This represents a significant advancement in wireless communication speeds.

They come with a wide range of interfaces, including cellular (4 × 4 MIMO) and GNSS antenna interfaces, USB 3.0, PCIe (Gen3), RGMII, SGMII, multiple UARTs, SPI, I2C, I2S (PCM), SDIO, ADCs, and GPIOs, ensuring flexible connectivity options for various applications. Norbert Muhrer, President and CSO of Quectel Wireless Solutions, expressed satisfaction with the validation of the AG56xN series of automotive modules by Rohde and Schwarz, highlighting their compatibility with the next generation of eCall features.

This achievement sets a new standard for the future of intelligent transportation. With computing capabilities reaching up to 15K DMIPS and SGMII/RGMII throughput of 2.5 Gbps, these modules are designed to fulfill high-performance needs. They have also obtained eCall/NG eCall certifications, demonstrating their reliability and safety for automotive applications.

The AG56xN series modules are compatible with automotive-grade Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules, providing a reliable combination that enhances connectivity solutions for the automotive industry and beyond. The test setup for examining Quectel’s 5G/LTE automotive module included the R&S CMX500 communication tester, along with the R&S CMX-KA098 5G eCall test option to simulate an NG eCall Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), and a R&S SMBV100B vector signal generator for GNSS simulation.

The test confirmed a successful establishment of a 5G emergency call between the Quectel module and the PSAP. The transmission of the Minimum Set of Data (MSD) was successfully achieved without any data loss, and the simulated GNSS position was accurately transmitted. Furthermore, voice communication was established with clear audio quality.

The R&S CMX500, along with the R&S CMX-KA098 software option, is a highly versatile tool that can be effectively utilized for NGeCall testing under reliable and configurable 5G network conditions. Collaboration among companies in the industry is increasingly crucial to accelerate the deployment of this technology. The partnership between Rohde & Schwarz and Quectel is instrumental in mutually validating their solutions, reducing effort, and speeding up time to market for their mutual customers.

Juergen Meyer, Vice President Market Segment Automotive at Rohde & Schwarz, emphasizes the significance of this collaboration, “This marks a significant milestone in the implementation of the next generation eCall system, which will greatly enhance road safety. Through our test equipment and Quectel’s 5G eCall module, we have successfully executed the entire eCall process and verified this new key feature.”

Meyer added, “We are thankful to Quectel for this outstanding collaboration, which serves as a crucial checkpoint enabling the automotive industry to progress with greater speed and confidence.” The test setup will be showcased at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, from February 26 to 29, 2024, at the Fira Gran Via, in hall 5, booth 5A80.

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