Cobham Wireless announced that its 5G New Radio (NR) test solution can validate 5G NR air interface technologies, including Massive MIMO systems and Ultra-Reliability Low-Latency Communication (URLLC) use cases.

The software-defined system is being used by market-leading Network Equipment Manufactures (NEMs) and operators, enabling their R&D teams to test the performance of 5G NR networks against a variety of real-world test cases. The company will demonstrate its 5G test capabilities in Hall 6, Stand D50 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, 26th February – 1st March.

Cobham Wireless’ 5G NR test solution can test multiple 3GPP 5G NR air interface specifications, in line with an individual company’s design focus, integration plans, technological preferences and test parameters. It enables the development and validation of the critical part of the new 5G radio access network (RAN), called the gNodeB (gNB), offering a range of programmable test cases to ensure compliance with 3GPP 5G specifications. The flexible software defined radio (SDR) architecture of the 5G test solution enables it to target different 5G NR numerologies with sub-carrier spacing of 30 kHz, 60 kHz and 120 kHz.

The Cobham Wireless solution marks a paradigm shift in 5G Massive MIMO lab test and system validation methodologies, targeting the vital 5G NR air interface test cases and KPIs. This includes being able to emulate hundreds of simultaneous Multi User MIMO beams and thousands of user equipment (UE) use cases at different geometric locations relative to a base station antenna. Combining statistical and UE traffic behavior, driven by adaptive test scenario modeling algorithms, the system is claimed to be able to generate the most realistic gNB test behaviors possible today. Working with a leading network operator and vendor in China, Cobham Wireless’ Massive MIMO test solution helped to validate and showcase the 5G NR gNB reaching the downlink throughput of 4.5 Gbps.

The test solution’s low-latency architecture can also enable the validation of another extreme 5G use case, URLLC, which will be needed to connect critical IoT devices and systems, including healthcare, VR and AR, automotive applications and smart city infrastructures. The solution validates and showcases its customer’s URLLC air interface design achieving 1 ms end-to-end latency with a reliability rate of 99.999%, which is the most demanding 3GPP 5G Release 15 latency and reliability requirement.

Dr Li-Ke Huang, 5G Research and Technology Director said: “There are a variety of new features that are unique for 5G NR compared to earlier standards, such as a wide range of new radio frequencies, Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency connectivity, Massive MIMO systems and the fact that networks must support hundreds of thousands of connected devices in a square kilometer. Testing and validating these new features under real-world conditions is absolutely crucial to ensure the effective roll-out of the new connectivity standard in a rapid time frame.

“Cobham Wireless offers the most advanced 5G NR lab testing features, based on the latest 3GPP specifications, available today. Test cases can be easily replicated and scaled due to the software-defined nature of the test solution, allowing for rapid refinement of 5G NR technology. The solution validates 5G from the RAN through to the Core technologies, offering a holistic view of how networks operate under a huge range of end-user scenarios,” he concluded.