With growing demand for LPWA (Low Power Wide Area) services and applications as part of the Internet of Things (IoT), 3GPP has developed Narrow Band IoT (NB-IoT) as a new cellular air interface that is fully adapted to the requirements of machine type communications. To ensure the significant quality and standardised network deployment, in October, CMCC and Rohde & Schwarz finished the first test session for NB-IoT capable base stations together.
China Mobile, the biggest network provider with leading technology, has chosen Rohde & Schwarz, leading provider of wireless test and measurement solutions, as a partner to perform the first NB-IoT base station tests according to Release 13 Cat-NB1. CMCC team tested the base station’s RF performance. These include tests cases in area of transmission power, spectrum analysis, group timing and delay, and coverage capability. In a next step, performance tests will include fading scenarios, with one box solution of the fading capabilities of the R&S SMW200A vector signal generator.
Rohde & Schwarz is the first to offer a base station testing solution for generation and analysis of NB-IoT signals. The well-established solution consisting of the R&S SMW200A vector signal generator and the R&S FSW signal and spectrum analyser has been already used at leading manufacturers of mobile network infrastructure for base station tests. The NB-IoT signal analysis is performed by the R&S VSE vector signal explorer software option which is available soon. Users will be able to upgrade to NB-IoT capability to support NB-IoT eco system success.
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.