RedCap Device Emulation

Today, Viavi Solutions has launched an innovative solution called Reduced Capability (RedCap) device emulation for 5G network testing. This cutting-edge technology allows for accurate performance validation of Internet of Things (IoT) and private networks, specifically tailored to a new class of simpler and more cost-effective devices such as wearables, industrial wireless sensors, and video surveillance equipment. The foundation of this solution is built upon the reliable TM500 network test platform, widely used by network equipment manufacturers to assess base station performance.

The introduction of RedCap Device Emulation, also referred to as Broadband IoT or NR-Light, occurred with the advent of 5G NR Release 17 by the 3GPP. These mid-tier IoT devices cater to use cases that demand moderate speed and latency requirements, positioning themselves between high-end applications like Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC) and lower-end Low-Power Wide-Area (LPWA) applications. Consequently, 3GPP has officially recognized and supported these devices being deployed at the network edge for IoT and Industry 4.0 applications.

VIAVI has addressed a significant gap in the industry by providing RedCap device emulation, which was previously lacking during the early validation efforts focusing on conformance and network emulation. Leveraging the well-established User Equipment (UE) emulation capabilities of the TM500, the RedCap device emulation now empowers equipment manufacturers to simulate realistic scenarios involving thousands of such devices carrying traffic, enabling them to thoroughly test and optimize their solutions. This advancement paves the way for enhanced efficiency and reliability in the deployment of 5G networks and IoT applications.

With the upgraded TM500, RedCap Device Emulation testing can be seamlessly integrated into the existing test environment. The platform provides the capability to simulate RedCap-like traffic patterns, generate RedCap-specific signaling, and evaluate the network’s performance for RedCap use cases.

One of the key advantages of using existing integrated solutions like TM500 for RedCap testing is the ability to reuse the well-established, embedded, per-device fading channel models. Fading channels emulate real-world wireless propagation conditions, including multipath propagation and signal fading, which are crucial for testing the performance and reliability of a live network environment. The TM500, combined with fading channel models, allows for accurate simulation of different scenarios and helps assess the performance of RedCap devices in challenging propagation conditions.

5G deployment may be stabilizing globally, but industrial and private networks are just getting started,” said Ian Langley, Senior Vice President, Wireless Business Unit, VIAVI. “RedCap specifications provide the missing link for the class of devices used in such applications, so equipment manufacturers and operators can pursue development and deployment with confidence. The TM500 adds essential validation capabilities with device emulation, further accelerating RedCap adoption.”

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