Keysight Technologies, Inc. has validated the first protocol conformance test case for 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Release 17 (Rel-17) standards for non-terrestrial networks (NTNs) using narrowband internet of things (NB-IoT) technology. The validated test case, which is for use with Keysight’s 5G network emulation conformance test platform (TP168), was obtained at the Conformance Agreement Group (CAG) #76 meeting of the Global Certification Forum (GCF).

Satellite-to-ground communication based on 5G standards is a critical step to building NTNs that deliver ubiquitous mobile connectivity and broadband internet access to populations living in rural areas where terrestrial infrastructure is lacking. 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 new NB-IoT NTN test case is available through the S8704A Protocol Conformance Toolset and verifies that chipsets and devices can handle the path loss and delays associated with NTN. Keysight’s Protocol Conformance Toolset provides designers with a comprehensive suite of test cases prioritized by GCF and PTCRB that can be used certify chipsets, modules and devices and accelerate time to market.

Muthu Kumaran, general manager, Keysight, said, "This 3GPP Release 17 LTE NTN test case validation underscores Keysight's commitment to the NTN device ecosystem and the ability to rapidly adopt new 5G New Radio specifications.”