Rohde & Schwarz Leads the Way in GCF-Validated 5G RedCap Conformance Test Cases

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The R&S CMX500 OBT hardware configuration optimized for 5G RedCap device testing

Rohde & Schwarz, a leading wireless test equipment manufacturer, has achieved a significant milestone in the number of GCF-validated 5G RedCap conformance test cases. During the recent Conformance Agreement Group (CAG) #74 meeting, Rohde & Schwarz successfully validated 387 5G RedCap test cases for its R&S CMX500 one-box signaling tester and R&S TS8980 conformance test system. This validation allows the Global Certification Forum (GCF) to activate the respective work items in their device certification program.

The 5G RedCap, also known as 5G NR-Light, introduces mid-tier enhanced machine-type communications (eMTC) to the 5G ecosystem. It enables the development of devices that fill the gap between low-speed narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), legacy standards, and the more advanced 5G use cases. These mid-tier devices, such as sensors for industrial automation, smart cameras, and wearables, are optimized for specific use cases and offer reduced complexity, power consumption, and antenna requirements compared to enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) use cases. They operate in standalone (SA) mode and utilize less spectrum bandwidth.

Rohde & Schwarz, known for its expertise in eMTC and NB-IoT testing, has optimized its R&S CMX500 one-box tester for IoT testing. It can now verify the various aspects of RedCap specified in 3GPP 5G Rel.17 during the R&D stage. The solution covers network access restrictions, bandwidth parts (BWP) and bandwidth part switching, power saving, and other protocol signaling procedures. Additionally, the R&S CMX500 can be used as part of the R&S TS8980 RF test system to perform 5G RedCap protocol and RF/RRM conformance testing. Rohde & Schwarz has also enhanced both platforms to ensure the regular operation of RedCap terminal devices in legacy networks.

During the GCF CAG #74 meeting, Rohde & Schwarz presented the highest number of validated test cases among wireless test equipment manufacturers. The R&S CMX500 had 177 validated test cases for protocol conformance testing (PCT) in the GCF test platform TP292. The R&S TS8980FTA-3A in the GCF test platform TP298 offered 161 test cases for RF testing, and the R&S TS-RRM-NR in the GCF test platform TP296 provided 49 test cases for radio resource management (RRM).

The R&S CMX500 one-box tester is a comprehensive test solution for all 5G NR testing. It supports all relevant 5G frequencies up to 8 GHz and offers an intuitive web-based user interface called R&S CMsquares. This solution is suitable for testing all 5G mobile devices and chipsets, covering various network deployments and frequency ranges, including FR1, FR2, and LTE bands.

With the R&S CMX500, manufacturers can accelerate their time to market by utilizing a single instrument that supports the entire range of early R&D design stages. It enables RF parametric testing, end-to-end application testing, signaling protocol testing, type approval conformance testing, and sample production testing. Rohde & Schwarz’s one-platform strategy for 5G NR test equipment provides a unified test environment for signaling and non-signaling testing throughout all stages of 5G device production.

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