Keysight Technologies, a leading technology company that delivers advanced design and validation solutions to help accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world, announced it is the first to gain approval from the Global Certification Forum (GCF) for 5G new radio (NR) protocol conformance test cases based on 3GPP Release 16 (Rel-16) specifications.
The industry milestone, confirmed at the conformance agreement group (CAG) meeting held in October, enables device vendors to accelerate the verification of designs that support 3GPP Rel-16 features. Implementation of 3GPP Rel-16 improves 5G network coverage, capacity, security, and latency, as well as 5G device power consumption, mobility, and reliability. Keysight continues to support a leading number of 5G RF, RRM, and protocol conformance test cases mandated by GCF.
Muthu Kumaran, general manager of Keysight’s device validation solutions business stated that the GCF approval of the first 5G NR protocol test cases based on 3GPP Rel-16 highlights Keysight’s continuous commitment to driving cutting-edge technology that is critical to realizing advanced connectivity use cases for consumers and enterprises. Early availability of GCF test cases enables vendors to accelerate 3GPP-compliant market introductions of designs for the smart factory, autonomous vehicle, and smart city applications.
The GCF approval was achieved using Keysight’s S8704A Protocol Conformance Toolset. In early 2021, Keysight joined forces with leading modem makers to establish the industry-first 5G data calls based on 3GPP Release 16 Specifications, using 5G Protocol R&D Toolset, also part of Keysight’s suite of 5G network emulation solutions.
The initial GCF-approved test cases enable users to validate self-organizing network (SON) features. The increasing complexity of networks, coupled with the need to reduce the cost of operating a mobile network across the lifecycle, is leading service providers to implement SON functionalities including self-configuring, self-optimizing, and self-healing. These test cases also address the minimization of drive testing (MDT) features that enable active devices in the network to retrieve customer experience measurements, which mobile operators use to optimize network performance.
At the CAG meeting, it was also confirmed that Keysight is the first test equipment vendor to gain GCF validation of 5G NR Release 15 protocol conformance test cases for standalone (SA) mode in the frequency range 2 (FR2). Deployment of 5G NR in SA mode and in FR2 spectrum is expected to support advanced 5G applications such as fixed wireless access (FWA), which uses customer premises equipment (CPE) to deliver wired-broadband data speeds to homes and businesses. Keysight remains the only vendor to offer GCF-approved test cases that enable vendors to validate the radio frequency (RF) performance of 5G FR2 devices in standalone mode, according to 3GPP Rel-15 specifications.