Cobham Delivers Software Based 5G NR Test Solution for Operators

Cobham Wireless has announced that its 5G New Radio (NR) test solution can be used to validate 5G NR air interface technologies, including Massive MIMO and Ultra-Reliability Low-Latency Communication (URLLC) use cases. The software-defined system is being used by market-leading Network Equipment Manufactures (NEMs) and operators, enabling their R&D teams to test the performance of 5G NR networks against a variety of real-world test cases. Cobham Wireless will demonstrate its 5G test capabilities at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, 26th February - 1st March.

The 5G NR test solution from Cobham Wireless can test multiple 3GPP 5G NR air interface specifications, in line with an individual company’s design focus, integration plans, technological preferences and test parameters. It enables the development and validation of the critical part of the new 5G radio access network (RAN), called the gNodeB (gNB), offering a range of programmable test cases to ensure compliance with 3GPP 5G specifications. The flexible software defined radio (SDR) architecture enables it to target different 5G NR numerologies with sub-carrier spacing of 30 kHz, 60 kHz and 120 kHz.

This software based test solution marks a paradigm shift in 5G Massive MIMO lab test and system validation methodologies, targeting the vital 5G NR air interface test cases and KPIs. This includes being able to emulate hundreds of simultaneous Multi User MIMO beams and thousands of user equipment (UE) use cases at different geometric locations relative to a base station antenna. Combining statistical and UE traffic behaviour, driven by adaptive test scenario modelling algorithms, the system can generate the most realistic gNB test behaviours possible today. Working with a leading network operator and vendor in China, Cobham Wireless’ Massive MIMO test solution helped to validate and showcase the 5G NR gNB reaching the downlink throughput of 4.5 Gbps.

The test solution’s low-latency architecture can also enable the validation of another extreme 5G use case, Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communication (URLLC), which will be needed to connect critical IoT devices and systems, including healthcare, VR and AR, automotive applications and smart city infrastructures. The solution validates and showcases its customer’s URLLC air interface design achieving 1ms end-to-end latency with a reliability rate of 99.999%, which is the most demanding 3GPP 5G Release 15 latency and reliability requirement.