For most mobile network operators, fifth generation of mobile communications will initially be an additional data service for transmission rates up to 20 Gbit/s. To allow developers to test their mobile devices in 5G NR non-standalone and standalone mode in line with 3GPP specifications, the test solution must accurately simulate both LTE and 5G NR networks. As a key solution, Rohde & Schwarz (R&S) has developed the R&S CMX500 radio communication tester. It adds 5G capability to the company’s tried and tested LTE solutions such as the R&S CMW500 or R&S CMWflexx test system, allowing to perform testing from 2G to 5G on one platform. The extension box R&S CMX500 is capable of handling various FR1 and FR2, signaling and nonsignaling as well as standalone and non-standalone test scenarios, from R&D to certification testing.

Thanks to the unified approach of the proven Rohde & Schwarz one-platform strategy, users rely on the same technology, comparable hardware and the same software in all test solutions and test stages, making the test results comparable.

Signaling test setup for FR1 and FR2 in non-standalone mode A key functionality of the R&S CMX500 is signaling tests in FR2. In addition, the R&S CMX500 also supports signaling tests in FR1. The tests performed in non-standalone mode feature both LTE and 5G connections. They verify LTE/5G signaling protocol behavior, OTA RF/TX measurements, end-to-end data testing with LTE & 5G bearers as well as mmWave OTA signaling and RF measurements.

Signaling test in the new mmWave-based 5G frequency of FR2 requires an OTA test setup or environment. For this, the test setup features the R&S ATS800R CATR rack based antenna test system with OTA functionalities. Designed for FR2 R&D measurements, it optimizes the available lab space by combining a, compact shielding chamber with T&M equipment in the same setup, ensuring the smallest footprint. The integrated state-of-the-art reflector surface precision provides a big enough quiet zone with high accuracy. Rohde & Schwarz develops and manufactures all the exhibited equipment itself, ensuring compatibility and constant quality of all test equipment from a single source—a unique feature in the test and measurement industry.

Controlling 5G measurements with the R&S CMsquares to control the 5G radio communication testers, the test setup includes the newly developed R&S CMsquares unified test software solution. Unlike other solutions in the market, CMsquares integrates the complete mobile network simulation with test configuration, parameterization, real time measurements and test result management in a single environment for all relevant use cases from RF parametric testing over protocol analysis to data end-to-end throughput tests.

It provides easiest user guidance via dashboards and customizable workspaces which allow quick access to the various types of 5G measurements. It also comes in line with a built-in sequencer to run preconfigured 5G NR test scripts or to create 5G NR test scripts from scratch using a simple drag-and-drop workflow.