T-Mobile US is updating its device testing capabilities to include 5G, unveiling a new, 20,000 square foot facility that will test 5G devices as well as devices which enable License Assisted Access, narrowband IoT, LTE and 3G.
The facility, known as the Launch Pad, also houses the carrier’s 5G Tech Experience showcase for 4G and 5G, in addition to T-Mobile US’ network lab.
The carrier said that the new lab consists of more than a dozen testing areas, ranging from radio frequency signal testing to voice call/sound quality, video optimization and data throughput testing; “in-depth testing” of software, applications and services; and durability testing including drop-testing, water testing and sensitivity to heat.
And, it said, the lab is outfitted with equipment to test devices across a range of frequencies from low-band and mid-band to millimeter wave — in both its “current and planned” 5G spectrum, which is expected to expand considerably, if its proposed merger with Sprint is finalized. The new device lab, T-Mo said, “is equipped with new, rigorous tests to ensure smartphones, IoT devices and any other connected devices take full advantage of the high-, mid- and low-band spectrum from New T-Mobile 5G, if the merger is approved.”
T-Mobile US said that the Launch Pad is designed to bring device and network quality engineers together to innovate and refine technologies from end-to-end before delivering them to customers” — which it said it critical for 5G, which is a combination of new tech in both devices and the network itself.
“5G will unlock SO MANY new capabilities and opportunities for innovation. And with that comes new complexities in delivering the technology to customers,” said T-Mobile US CTO Neville Ray in a statement. “We’ve evolved in this new era of wireless to deliver continuous innovation and the best 5G experience possible — from the network to the devices in their hands — which is why I’m So. Damn. Proud. of this amazing team and cutting-edge lab.”
The lab includes:
-A test chamber for sub-6 GHz 5G testing, which has more than 50 antennas at different angles in order to assess signal quality transmission and reception.
-A mmWave test chamber, complete with magenta “T” logo.
-A series of what the carrier calls “5G SmartLab Chambers,” which support all of its current and planned 5G spectrum. T-Mo said that within those chambers, engineers can test devices across different combinations of spectrum and technologies.
-A device software testing area, which contains machines that the carrier said are capable of “simulating a week’s worth of customer usage in just 24 hours,” including testing the device keyboard, battery life, and applications from voice calls and music to gaming, videos, texting, email and more. Devices have to run continuously for 24 hours and perform hundreds of tasks without any glitches or freezes, T-Mobile US added.
-A room for testing the durability of device hardware, where devices are put in machines which tumble and drop them, or that subject them to a wide range of temperatures to ensure that they continue to operate.