Keysight Technologies announced it is first to gain approval from the Global Certification Forum (GCF) for 5G new radio (NR) protocol conformance test cases based on 3GPP Release 16 (Rel-16) specifications. The industry milestone, confirmed at the conformance agreement group (CAG) meeting held in October, enables device vendors to accelerate verification of designs that support 3GPP Rel-16 features. Implementation of 3GPP Rel-16 improves 5G network coverage, capacity, security and latency, as well as 5G device power consumption, mobility and reliability. Keysight continues to support a leading number of 5G RF, RRM and protocol conformance test cases mandated by GCF.
“The GCF approval of the first 5G NR protocol test cases based on 3GPP Rel-16 highlights Keysight’s continuous commitment to driving cutting-edge technology that is critical to realizing advanced connectivity use cases for consumers and enterprises,” said Mr. Muthu Kumaran, GM of Keysight’s device validation solutions business. “Early availability of GCF test cases enables vendors to accelerate 3GPP-compliant market introductions of designs for smart factory, autonomous vehicle and smart city applications.”
The GCF approval was achieved using Keysight’s S8704A Protocol Conformance Toolset. In early 2021, Keysight joined forces with leading modem makers to establish the industry-first 5G data calls based on 3GPP Release 16 Specifications, using 5G Protocol R&D Toolset, also part of Keysight’s suite of 5G network emulation solutions.
The initial GCF-approved test cases enable users to validate self-organizing network (SON) features. Increasing complexity of networks, coupled with the need to reduce the cost of operating a mobile network across the lifecycle, is leading service providers to implement SON functionalities including self-configuring, self-optimizing and self-healing. These test cases also address the minimization of drive testing (MDT) features that enable active devices in the network to retrieve customer experience measurements, which mobile operators use to optimize network performance.
At the CAG meeting, it was also confirmed that Keysight is the first test equipment vendor to gain GCF validation of 5G NR Release 15 protocol conformance test cases for standalone (SA) mode in frequency range 2 (FR2). Deployment of 5G NR in SA mode and in FR2 spectrum is expected to support advanced 5G applications such as fixed wireless access (FWA), which uses customer premises equipment (CPE) to deliver wired-broadband data speeds to homes and businesses. Keysight remains the only vendor to offer GCF-approved test cases that enable vendors to validate the radio frequency (RF) performance of 5G FR2 devices in standalone mode, according to 3GPP Rel-15 specifications.