R&S eCall Test Solution Now Supports Next-Gen LTE Based Emergency Call Functionality

Rohde & Schwarz has extended its eCall test solution, which utilizes the R&S CMW500 platform, to cover NGeCall, the next generation emergency call system based on LTE. Rohde & Schwarz along with Ficosa, a tier-one supplier of automotive parts and systems, jointly demonstrated new features for the market-leading eCall test solution at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona where they showed reproducible end-to-end functional tests of a telematic control unit (TCU) with a next generation eCall modem that uses the LTE network.

For the GSM-based automatic emergency call system, which will become mandatory for all newly registered cars and light trucks in the European Union as of April 1, 2018, the preparations have essentially been completed. eCall is an electronic safety system for cars that automatically informs an emergency call center or public safety answering point (PSAP) when a vehicle is involved in an accident. The system transmits a standardized minimum set of data (MSD) containing information such as the number of passengers, the timestamp and the GNSS coordinates of the accident.

However, since many network operators in the EU plan to switch off their GSM networks from 2020 onwards, LTE-based NGeCall is likely to become mandatory in the near future. For vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers, it is now important to move forward and make the next generation of vehicles fit for the future emergency call system.

Rohde & Schwarz offers the market-leading test solution for GSM-based eCall, and has now extended the functionality of the R&S CMW500 test platform and the eCall test software for LTE-based NGeCall. Ficosa provided a TCU with a next generation eCall modem to verify this functionality. The TCU can send the vehicle's position taken from an integrated GPS receiver and is able to make an emergency call during an accident via LTE. The two companies have successfully completed tests to show that Ficosa’s modem is ready for NGeCall.

In the I_HeERO project, the deployment pilot project of EU-wide eCall, Ficosa was responsible for looking at advancements in the management of data for NGeCall and developing the proof of concept for it. As part of this project, it compiled recommendations and delivered results for the implementation of NGeCall.

More on the R&S Test Set-up

The new R&S CMW-KA096 next generation eCall application software simulates an NGeCall-capable PSAP and remotely controls the R&S CMW500 to emulate an LTE cellular network and the required IMS infrastructure in the lab. This setup makes it possible, for example, to verify whether the IVS (in-vehicle system) modem is able to trigger an emergency call, send the correct raw MSD data and establish a voice connection via a VoLTE call with the PSAP. This can be done fully independent of any real-world mobile network. In combination with the R&S SMBV100A vector signal generator, the solution also supports GNSS position accuracy measurements.

The R&S CMW500 in combination with the R&S CMW-KA094 and KA095 PSAP options is ready for functional and standard-compliant conformance and performance testing of eCall in the lab or in an automobile type approval test environment. Together with the R&S CMW-KA096 next generation eCall test suite, the solution is a future-ready investment.