Keysight Technologies, Inc. announced it has collaborated with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. to establish an end-to-end 5G non-terrestrial network (NTN) connection. Based on this successful demonstration of call signaling and data transfer using orbit trajectory emulation, Keysight and Qualcomm Technologies aim to accelerate 5G NTN technology to provide affordable broadband connectivity in remote areas.

NTNs based on 5G satellite-to-ground communication bring secure, reliable and high bandwidth connectivity to remote areas that do not have terrestrial network coverage. Widespread 5G NTN deployments can provide critical health, safety, and financial benefits to rural populations while improving economic conditions for industrial sectors such as agriculture, energy, health and transportation.

The end-to-end 5G NTN connection, based on modeling constellations of low Earth orbit satellites, was made in Qualcomm Technologies' San Diego laboratory by combining Keysight's 5G base station and aerospace emulation solutions with a Qualcomm Technologies 5G mobile test platform (MTP). The Qualcomm Technologies MTP is a smartphone reference design that acts as a proven test device for implementing and verifying the most advanced features available from Qualcomm Technologies research labs. The collaboration enables device makers to speed development and verification of 3GPP Release 17 compliant designs.

Keysight's high performance emulation capabilities make it possible to compensate for high Doppler effect and time delay as satellites move at speeds up to 7500 kilometers per second and at altitudes as high as 750 kilometers. The aerospace industry uses Keysight's software-centric design and validation solutions to launch thousands of satellites that are used for aeronautical, maritime and mission-critical communications as well as environmental monitoring.

Keysight integrates 5G network and real-world channel emulation hardware and software to create an end-to-end mixed terrestrial and space lab-based test bed to realistically simulate a wide range of orbit trajectories. The solution uses dynamic multipath propagation to emulate ground-to-satellite, satellite-to-ground and ground-to-ground satellite links. This provides holistic performance verification of terrestrial and non-terrestrial infrastructure as well as 5G NTN devices.

Tingfang Ji, vice president of engineering at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., said, "Our research with Keysight drives many innovations with significant positive impact across a multitude of sectors that rely upon robust wireless connectivity. We are pleased to leverage Keysight's expertise in 5G emulation platforms to help the validation of our research and development for satellite-driven 5G NTN communications."

Cao Peng, vice president and general manager for Keysight's Wireless Test Group, said, "Together with Qualcomm Technologies, Keysight is making significant leaps in digitally connecting the world's unconnected areas where deploying terrestrial cellular networks is not a viable option. Keysight is excited to provide industry-first emulation capabilities to Qualcomm Technologies, enabling the world-leading wireless technology innovator to comprehensively address a wide range of complexities that arise as advanced space and terrestrial technologies are combined onto a single modem platform."