Rohde & Schwarz successfully validated 5G RedCap conformance test cases

Rohde & Schwarz has successfully validated 5G RedCap (reduced capability) test cases for its R&S CMX500 one-box signaling tester and R&S TS8980 conformance test system for the recent Conformance Agreement Group (CAG) #74 meeting, allowing the Global Certification Forum (GCF) to activate the respective work items in their device certification program. Manufacturers of IoT chipsets, modems and end devices as well as test houses can now rely on tried-and-tested Rohde & Schwarz solutions for 387 5G RedCap test cases in all device production stages, from early R&D to type approval conformance testing.

5G RedCap (or 5G NR-Light) brings true mid-tier enhanced machine-type communications (eMTC) to the 5G ecosystem. RedCap will enable a new wave of devices that bridge the capability and complexity gaps between low-speed narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT), legacy standards and current 5G extremes with an optimized design for mid-tier use cases, such as sensors for industrial automation, smart cameras and wearables. Compared to enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) use cases, 5G RedCap lightweight technologies reduce the number of antennas and complexity, use less spectrum bandwidth, consume significantly less power and work only in standalone (SA) mode.

As a market leader in eMTC and NB-IoT testing, Rohde & Schwarz has optimized the R&S CMX500 OBT for IoT testing and can now verify the different RedCap aspects specified in 3GPP 5G Rel.17 for R&D. The solution covers network access restrictions, bandwidth parts (BWP) and bandwidth part switching, power saving and other protocol signaling procedures. As part of the R&S TS8980 RF test system, the R&S CMX500 OBT tester can be used for 5G RedCap protocol and, RF/RRM conformance testing. Rohde & Schwarz also enhanced both platforms to verify the regular operation of RedCap terminal devices in legacy networks.

At the Conformance Agreement Group (CAG) #74 meeting of the Global Certification Forum (GCF) in May 2023, Rohde & Schwarz presented with 387 validated test cases for GCF test platforms, the highest number for a wireless test equipment manufacturer. In the GCF test platform TP292, the R&S CMX500 radio communication tester has 177 test cases validated for protocol conformance testing (PCT). In GCF test platform TP298, the R&S TS8980FTA-3A offers 161 test cases for RF testing and in GCF test platform TP296, the R&S TS-RRM-NR offers 49 test cases for radio resource management (RRM).

One test solution for all 5G device production stages

With its one-box configuration, the R&S CMX500 radio communication tester is a best-in-class, future-proof test solution for all 5G NR testing. All relevant 5G frequencies up to 8 GHz can be operated with R&S CMsquares, the intuitive and flexible web-based user interface. The test solution is suitable for all 5G mobile devices and chipsets and supports in a single instrument all possible 5G NR network deployments and frequency ranges, including FR1, FR2 and LTE bands.

The R&S CMX500 one-box tester enables fast time to market while supporting a complete range of early R&D design stages, such as RF parametric testing, end-to-end application testing, signaling protocol testing, type approval conformance testing and sample production testing. The one-platform strategy for all 5G NR test equipment enables a unified test environment for signaling and non-signaling testing through all 5G device production stages.