5G is dawning, and with it, 5G test equipment. 5G networks, autonomous vehicles and smart cities will complicate the already dense ecosystem of electromagnetic fields in modern society, meaning manufacturers need to comply with a new set of standards. Enter the 3GPP, or 3rd
Generation Partnership Project, a collaborative entity that is overseeing 5G standardization and has released a preliminary standard: 5G New Radio (NR). A new generation of test systems with built-in 5G signal simulation, generation and analysis has arrived in response to 5G NR’s requirements.
Will I need to comply with 5G NR?
The 3GPP is focusing its efforts on the regulation of three major classes of technology within the two 5G NR frequency ranges of sub-6GHz and up to millimeter wave: emBB, mMTC and uRLLC.
- embb (Enhanced Mobile Broadband)
- embb refers to mobile broadband at the 5G level, which will manifest as 100x faster web browsing and 8K video streaming.
- mMTC (Massive Machine-Type Communications)
- mMTC will allow a large number of devices to communicate device to device, creating what is called an internet of things (IoT) which will allow for smart sensors, homes and cities.
- uRLLC (Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communications)
- uRLLC is the combination of low latency (within the 1 millisecond range), high bandwidth and high reliability that will make technologies like VR, AR, and remote, real-time surgery possible.
Manufacturers developing these technologies will need 5G test equipment for compliance testing. Luckily, there are already products on the market designed to test in both 5G NR frequency ranges, FR1 (450 MHz – 6 GHz) and FR2 (24.25 GHz – 52.6 GHz). Many devices also generate waveforms compliant to 3GPP standards for the following:
- Intermodulation testing
- Phased array antenna tests
- MIMO analysis
- OTA tests