In Q2 2019, mobile data traffic grew 78 percent year-on-year, according to a report by Ericsson. The high growth rate was mainly influenced by the increased number of smartphone subscriptions in India and increased data traffic per smartphone per month in China. With data consumption in mobile networks still growing at an exponential rate, new spectrum was allocated (e.g. in the 3.5 GHz range) and 5G NR commercial rollouts started in 2019. Rohde & Schwarz has put its resources and the 5GNR market to the test in an effort to measure and define the performance parameters needed to make it all work.
In a white paper they recently issued, the company has broken down testing into the following categories:
- Validate new 5G NR features and frequencies
- Verify network planning
- Validate network trials and commercial 5G NR network deployments
- 5G NR network optimization and quality benchmarking
In addition to showing the key commercial drivers, and the markets they impact, including 5G LTE (4G), WCDMA/HSPA (3G), TD-SCMA (2G/3G), GSM/EDGE only CDMA only (2G/3G) the report shows how those segments are playing out worldwide. A breakdown of the content shows the report covering a wide range of highly technical details with illuminating charts and visuals to help understand the dynamics of the industry.
- 5G NR market and drivers
- 5G NR use cases
- 5G NR technology
- Full range of 5G NR network measurement solutions
- All 5G NR network testing solutions from a single source
- 5G NR network scanners for accurate coverage measurement and beamforming verification
- 5G NR data collection using commercial 5G NR smartphones
- 5G site testing and troubleshooting.
- 5G NR data analytics with SmartAnalytics
- 5G NR beam specific analysis in SmartAnalytics
- The network performance score: aggregation and drilldown
- Network performance score integrated into SmartAnalytics
- Fast 5G NR waveform verification in the field
- Identify uplink interference in a TDD network
The report concludes by saying commercial 5G rollout is happening now and service teams face the challenge of successfully deploying and operating a new network infrastructure that has a radically different architecture than in previous cellular generations. New capabilities such as beamforming and 5G/LTE dual connectivity, according to the Rohde & Schwarz authors, must be tested to verify correct installation and performance and ensure the required quality of service (QoS) is delivered to end users.