Industry Insights

What is driving the need for a more holistic 5G test approach?

2018-11-28  |  6 min read 

Keysight recently released the results of our 5G Survey that asked mobile operators and wireless equipment manufacturers about their 5G development and deployment plans. One interesting category of responses to the questions showed that respondents were actively looking for 5G test tools and capabilities that would help them validate new designs—particularly in support of:

  • Greater reliability
  • Lower latencies
  • Faster networks

These attributes help mobile operators meet a diverse set of demands to support a wide and new range of vertical applications, including eMBB, Smart Cities, and Connected Car.
At the NGMN IC&E 2018 conference Kailash Narayanan, vice president and general manager of Wireless Test at Keysight, highlighted three key drivers of change needed to secure an optimized user experience for each of these verticals:

  • Multi-layer spectrum 
  • Complex Multi-RAT scenarios 
  • New network architecture

NGMN was founded by leading international mobile network operators in the days of 3G. Keysight joined NGMN to further clarify the definition and standardization of 5G end-to-end testing requirements and to help advance 5G technology.

Kailash Narayanan delivered his keynote speech entitled ‘On the Cusp of 5G Commercialization’ at the NGMN IC&E 2018 conference in Vancouver, Canada.

End-to-end test solutions to address a more complex set of 5G technologies 

The introduction a much more complex set of technologies and the use of them for new applications drives network deployment and commercialization challenges that require new test strategies which need to provide end-to-end visibility, validation, and performance test across multiple domains. 

A multi-layer spectrum approach is needed to adequately address a wide range of scenarios and requirements and to accommodate legacy technologies. However, a mix of carrier frequencies with different physical characteristics and capacities introduces new propagation measurements and modeling requirements.
Heterogenous networks makes site acquisition, network planning and resource management more complex. It also drives the need for more advanced measurement and analysis tools to ensure optimal network performance.

Heterogenous networks drive the need more advanced measurement and analysis tools for field mapping, drive testing and interference testing.

Next generation devices and infrastructure need to support a number of different radio access technologies (RATs). A seamless mobile access experience will rely on 5G-LTE dual connectivity plus the use of unlicensed bands. In order to meet the performance requirements for each vertical application, the mobile ecosystem will need multi-RAT network, channel, and UE emulation solutions.

The transformation towards a new network architecture that is flexible, scalable, and programmable implies a paradigm shift from a rigid architecture to an open architecture. By breaking the boundaries to create virtual functions, mobile operators will be able to address different requirements across a widely distributed and flexible network. 
This is leading to the deployment of a multi-vendor network where mobile operators and their vendors need to embrace evolving standards to ensure interoperability between all the different network elements and services. New test strategies offering insights across different domains will make sure the network delivers the performance anticipated by each of the verticals.  

A new network architecture drives the need for new test strategies that offer end-to-end visibility, validation and performance test across multiple domains.

A multi-layer spectrum approach, multi-RAT deployment, and a new network architecture will help deliver a unique set of expectations for each vertical industry. Successful 5G deployment needs to address a more complex set of 5G technologies using test strategies that adopt a holistic approach. 

Keysight’s end-to-end 5G solutions enable the mobile industry to innovate game-changing products that address the needs of different vertical industries.

Keysight’s first to market end-to-end 5G test solutions help the mobile ecosystem verify the quality, performance, compliance and security of new designs across the protocol stack. These solutions are already empowering leading mobile operators such as NTT DOCOMO and wireless manufacturers like Qualcomm establish early market leadership by accelerating 5G product design development and deployment. At Keysight, we are truly excited to play a pivotal role in accelerating 5G development and commercialization.