NI Unveils 5G NR Test UE Solution for 5G Lab and Field Trials

National Instruments (NI) has released a new real-time 5G NR Test UE solution that features a fully 3GPP Release 15 non-standalone (NSA) compliant system capable of emulating the full operation of end-user devices or user equipment (UE).

With 5G commercial rollouts expected this year, engineers must validate the design and functionality of 5G NR infrastructure equipment before product development and release. Based on the rugged PXI Express platform, the NI Test UE offering helps customers test prototypes in the lab and in the field to evaluate them on service operators’ networks.

In addition, customers can perform InterOperability Device Testing (IoDT), which is a critical part of the commercialization process to ensure that network equipment works with UE from any vendor and vice versa. The NI Test UE offering can also be used to perform benchmark testing to evaluate the full capabilities of commercial and pre-commercial micro-cell, small-cell and macro-cell 5G NR gNodeB equipment.

Leading telecommunications testing company, Spirent, has worked with NI to add 5G NR support to its existing portfolio of products. Clarke Ryan, Senior Director of Product Development at Spirent, said, with 5G picking up steam, Spirent was looking to find a world-class 5G NR platform that would outperform the market today and continue to do so as the 5G market matures. As a leader in SDR-based radios since 2011, NI was the natural choice to ensure the company had the best radio with the best testing capabilities to stay ahead of the curve for customers.

The NI Test UE offering provides a flexible system for evaluating 5G technology. Customers can use the SDR front ends to select the sub-6 GHz frequency of their choice. The system scales up to one 100 MHz bandwidth component carrier and can be configured for up to 4x2 MIMO to achieve a maximum throughput of 2.3 Gb/s. The 5G NR Release 15 software includes complete protocol stack software that can connect with a 5G gNodeB while providing real-time diagnostic information. Customers can log diagnostic information to a disk for post-test analysis and debugging and can view it on the software front panel for a real-time visualization of the link’s performance.

Click here to learn more about the NI Test UE offering for 5G NR.