Rohde & Schwarz is first to submit 5G Next Generation eCall (NGeCall) protocol test cases to the 3GPP Global Certification Forum (GCF). The company is also launching a new 5G NGeCall application option that simulates the public safety answering point (PSAP) functions required for the end-to-end conformance tests that verify the interoperability of the equipment under test for the complete communication exchange. Both additions to the Rohde & Schwarz eCall portfolio now support early testing of new 5G Next Generation eCall systems with the R&S CMX500 one-box tester, contributing to a timely introduction of 5G NGeCall.
eCall, the automatic emergency call system for vehicles sold within the European Union, was introduced in 2015 and has been a mandatory requirement for all new cars in the EU since 2018. eCall systems currently make use of 2G/3G circuit-switched cellular networks. As these networks will be phased out in just a few years, emergency call systems (in-vehicle systems and infrastructure) will be adapted to the newest 4G/5G packet-switched cellular networks.
The European Commission initiative to update the eCall standards and legislation to transition eCall to 4G and 5G networks is already active. The automotive industry needs NGeCall test solutions to deliver eCall modules that include the new NGeCall functions. The modules have to comply with Technical Specification CEN TS17240, which refers to the protocol conformance test cases and specifies additional end-to-end conformance test cases for eCall as stipulated by 3GPP and the Internet Engineering Task Force.
In July 2023, test case package PCT5-KC625, which runs on the R&S CMX500, was released, and the test cases were validated by the GCF meeting. This set the foundation for NGeCall module manufacturers to meet the test requirements for successful NGeCall type approval. The new software package R&S CMX-KA098 for the R&S CMX500 comes with an integrated PSAP for 5G NGeCall. It supplements the test package with additional test functions for carrying out end-to-end conformance tests according to CEN TS17240.