5G is here—and with more products being developed and released to consumers at a record pace, the stakes to deliver reliable performance have become not only more crucial, but also more challenging.
The industry is more exciting than ever before with advancements like connected self-driving cars, farming that monitors livestock, healthcare-connected ambulance services, and military security sensors and cameras, all applications that are made possible with advanced 5G deployments. And the list is continually growing. But this also means that with the development of these new services, the reliance on their performance has become more critical.
However, advanced 5G radio is more challenging to evaluate than previous cellular technologies and devices must be tested under potential usage conditions. Testing 5G involves varying radio link performance and determining how well protocol, application, and cloud layers react in real-world environments. Such scenarios must include handover, motion, interference, and other RF propagation issues. Testing so many combinations can be overwhelming, requiring specific wireless engineering expertise.
Channel modeling brings the real world into the lab
With channel modeling, real-world operating conditions are brought into the lab. This technology has been used for decades by chipset firms and cellular network equipment vendors, but the good news is that the wireless industry has standardized cellular and wi-fi channel models for the most common use cases. Some common environmental channel models include urban, rural, high-speed train, flight-to-ground, and indoor.
Channel models are customized by engineers, based on a variety of parameters for base stations and mobile devices, to define an intended operating scenario. Since 5G will be embedded in all types of products offered by numerous industries, new approaches are needed so the general ecosystem of design engineers can evaluate their designs. But without in-house wireless expertise, what is one to do?
Spirent’s Advanced Channel Modeling software makes it simple
Spirent’s Advanced Channel Modeling (ACM) software gives developers an easy-to-use graphical user interface for creating realistic use cases. ACM enables wireless and non-wireless engineers, as well as application and software development and test teams, to create test scenarios. Developers can test how their solutions will behave in a variety of realistic RF environments and under dynamic or static conditions. The desired environment, altitude, distance, and power levels are completely user-defined. The models are then automatically created and downloaded to the Vertex Channel Emulator to simulate a real-world RF environment and perform the test.
Organizations within the cellular industry as well as companies in industries from consumer product manufacturers to appliance or automobile manufacturers to utility companies to government agencies can use ACM to create the scenarios that matter for them.
ACM’s pre-built foundation scenarios include:
Mesh, satellite and aeronautical, over-the-air (OTA) testing in an RF chamber for base stations
MIMO OTA or virtual OTA for devices.
This repeatable and powerful lab test solution promotes earlier issue discovery, faster issue resolution, and more robust regression and QA stages. ACM, in conjunction with Spirent’s Vertex channel emulator, enables mainstream developers to perform channel modeling for their test applications. A non-wireless test engineer can create meaningful test cases quickly while reducing risks.
Easy testing, with user-friendly tools, empowers developers to focus on innovation and product development while reducing time to market. There’s no way around it, testing 5G performance for all potential product use scenarios is essential for your bottom line.
Gain a deeper understanding of the need for channel modeling and the conveniences Spirent’s ACM software brings to the modeling process in the white paper The Simplification of Radio Channel Modeling.
Learn more about Spirent’s ACM solution