R&S drives roll-out of NTN NB-IoT tech with new GCF-certified conformance test cases

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Conformance approval is a major step in bringing devices for the internet of things (IoT) to the market. To ensure that these devices work properly, they need to be certified by testing laboratories accredited by certification bodies such as GCF, PTCRB or CTIA. With the successful verification of the 3GPP Rel. 17 NTN NB-IoT test cases in work item 333 at the CAG #77 meeting, using the R&S CMW500, the Global Certification Forum was able to activate the work item, kicking off conformance testing for NTN NB-IoT devices.

With this accomplishment, Rohde & Schwarz together with tier 1 chipset vendors like Qualcomm Technologies, Mediatek, and Sony Semiconductor Israel’s Altair and their respective platforms have contributed significantly to the adoption of non-terrestrial network-based IoT use cases spanning multiple sectors such as smartphone, consumer, automotive, agriculture, maritime, logistics, and mining. The NTN NB-IoT protocol test cases of work item 333 cover NTN-specific signaling aspects for NB-IoT devices as specified in 3GPP Rel.17 TS 36.523-1.

Rohde & Schwarz has equipped its market-leading NB-IoT solution with 3GPP Rel. 17 NTN features to provide the ecosystem with R&D, production, and conformance testing functions. The protocol conformance test cases were developed using the R&S CMW500 radio communication tester, which allows engineers to assess their NTN NB-IoT devices under realistic conditions, establishing a real-time, comprehensive connection with the simulated satellite network and testing the relevant signaling and RF scenarios in line with the 3GPP Rel. 17 specification. The test solution emulates geosynchronous orbit (GSO) and geostationary orbit (GEO) as well as low earth orbit (LEO) constellations. It helps engineers to verify NTN device challenges like time and frequency synchronization due to prolonged delay and Doppler effect, low Signal-to-Interference-plus-Noise Ratio (SINR), power saving mechanisms, satellite ephemerides, and GNSS acquisition, to name just a few of the core features.

The official GCF platform R&S CMW-IoT is a single box solution for conformance testing including PCT, RRM and RF. In addition to this, the single box also supports carrier acceptance testing.