FEATURE: TEST & MEASUREMENT
VALIDATION THE KEY TO 5G SUCCESS Taking 5G’s underlying technology from concept phase to prototype, and eventually to rollout, is dependent on the development of new and sophisticated testing and validation techniques.
but important emphasis should also be placed on validating the end user experience for potential applications. Many of these implementations are still in the concept phase, but are likely to be developed at an increasingly swift rate over the coming years, so the industry needs to be as prepared as possible for a wide range of use-cases. The technology being utilised at the 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) in Surrey, officially opened in 2015, will ensure the technology is perfected ahead of commercial launch with a test bed in As has been widely discussed in the place to validate everything from the industry, from the outset 5G will support chipset and radio antenna to end-to-end high-speed data services and will network performance. simultaneously be the enabler for a One of the key activities will be to rapid expansion in M2M. Critical IoT create and characterise the underlying applications in industries such as algorithms for potential 5G air interfaces, automotive and healthcare, and humanwhich for the sub-6 GHz bands need IoT interactions such as manufacturing to be substantially different from those control and wearable electronics, will used previously. At this stage test each require vastly different wireless instrumentation is being used both to technology compared with the more generate the air interface waveforms familiar personal communications and to evaluate their performance against applications. However, even for those key design parameters. The softwareuse cases requiring low-bandwidth defined air interface design principle that provision, the sheer volume of applications is being proposed for 5G will allow the being used will place heavy demands on fundamental air interface parameters – network capacity and availability. or even the air interface architecture Validating 5G to support the whole – to be dynamically changed according spectrum of user requirements needs to to the service scenarios. begin at the design phase. By adopting With such a powerful design concept this methodology, it is possible to start the likely scenario is that 3G and 4G air at the ground level and work up, refining interfaces will be included among the processes along the way to understand, many radio access technologies that validate and improve system design and will be used in the 5G system. performance. This ‘design for testing’ Ultimately, the philosophy of ‘testing principle can provide the foundation by design’ will provide the wireless for 5G and the services it will enable, industry with the blueprint to begin ultimately giving the technology a greater developing the coherent technological chance of long-term success. framework needed to support 5G, There are key considerations to be giving the technology an increased chance made for the architecture and different of meeting the high demands expected frequency bands that will be integrated of it. By Dr Li-Ke Huang, Research & into the broader 5G technology framework, Technology Director, Cobham Wireless
From a test point of view, what will be the hardest thing to validate in 5G development? 40 TMNQUARTERLY
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Mobile World Congress Edition Part 2