In response to the growing demand for low-power services and applications as part of the Internet of Things (IoT), 3GPP has developed narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), a new cellular air interface that is fully adapted to the requirements of machine type communications. In October, Huawei and Rohde & Schwarz finished a test session for NB-IoT capable base stations, successfully verifying their air interface characteristics and RF performance in line with 3GPP.
Huawei has chosen a test solution from Rohde & Schwarz based on the R&S SMW200A vector signal generator and the R&S FSW signal and spectrum analyzer to perform NB-IoT base station tests in line with Release 13 Cat-NB1. The Huawei eRAN 12.0 wireless version is tested using the Rohde & Schwarz solution in compliance with 3GPP TS 36.141.
The air interface performance test includes 52 test cases covering power, EVM, spectrum emission, receiver sensitivity, coverage capability, and a multitude of other aspects. All test cases were passed with satisfactory results. In a next step, receiver performance tests with fading scenarios will be added, an easy enhancement thanks to the built-in channel emulation capabilities of the R&S SMW200A vector signal generator. The solution also supports operator-specific test cases.
During communication network deployment, test instruments are critical for network verification. The joint test by Huawei and Rohde & Schwarz proves that the Huawei wireless network meets the requirements defined in 3GPP specifications. It also proves that the test instruments are now fully capable of supporting the large-scale commercial deployment of NB-IoT networks, further increasing the maturity of the NB-IoT industry chain.
Mrs. Lifang Kirchgessner, Vice President of the Rohde & Schwarz Wireless Communications Market Segment, says: “NB-IoT is one the most exciting emerging cellular IoT standards, which are paving the way to 5G massive machine type communications. The successful collaboration with Huawei shows that both companies are making great contributions to the NB-IoT industry. With its comprehensive test and measurement solutions for cellular IoT, Rohde & Schwarz consistently supports the IoT eco system.”
For IoT applications such as smart metering or tracking, low-power wide area networks (LPWAN) are needed. Current technologies rely mainly on 2G and 3G. The new 3GPP standard NB-IoT, which is based on 4G technology, fulfills the general requirements for cellular IoT networks such as wide coverage, improved reception indoors, very low power consumption, low device cost and support of massive numbers of devices.
Rohde & Schwarz is the first T&M vendor to develop a base station testing solution for generating and analyzing NB-IoT signals. It is based on the well-established test setup consisting of the R&S SMW200A vector signal generator and the R&S FSW signal and spectrum analyzer, which is already in use for base station tests at leading manufacturers of mobile network infrastructures. The NB-IoT signal analysis is performed by an R&S VSE vector signal explorer software option.
For information on T&M solutions for M2M and IoT from Rohde & Schwarz, visit: www.rohde-schwarz.com/ad/press/iot-m2m-solutions
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