Spirent, PCTEL unveil 5G T&M tools

More components of the 5G ecosystem slotted into place at this week's Mobile World Congress 2018, with the announcement of new test and measurement tools for 5G equipment.

Test and measurement provider Spirent Communications revealed it has worked with the China Academy of Information and Communication Technology (CAICT) to set up an over-the-air test chamber that allows for realistic evaluation of new 5G base station array antenna systems.

CAICT has developed sophisticated mathematical channel models that capture how 5G radio signals propagate through the air and are affected by factors such as reflections and absorption, and worked with Spirent to design a test bed to replicate these effects in a lab environment.

The system uses Spirent's probe group technique and 64 port channel emulator configuration to create 100 MHz and higher radio channel bandwidths inside of a test chamber.

Huawei has already used CAICT's system to test 5G gNodeB antenna array designs, simulating several types of real-world environments, such as urban and rural areas.

Meanwhile, antenna and wireless network testing solutions provider PCTEL used the event to demonstrate 5G mmWave testing on its latest scanning receiver.

The company said its new Flex receiver can be used to clear newly available mmWave spectrum, evaluate the performance of 5G trials, and optimize coverage for planned commercial deployments of both fixed wireless and 5G networks.

Beyond test and measurement tools, NEC's Netcracker Technology has announced the launch of its new 5G Monetization solution, aimed at helping operators accelerate the commercialization of 5G enabled services.

The new solution is available as a cloud platform or cloud service model, and is designed to address shortfalls with legacy OSS/BSS platforms that are not designed to support 5G service needs.

Netcracker said the 5G Monetization solution addresses new 5G needs at significantly lower costs through the use of an open, cloud-native, microservices-based architecture with distributed domain orchestration.

It contains a set of tools designed to allow operators to disrupt traditional business models with real-time, on demand alternatives for low-latency services.

“Ensuring a risk-free transition from 4G to 5G, holding down the infrastructure costs while delivering 100 times better performance and finding compelling use cases are the three most important challenges facing operators as they consider their investments in 5G," Netcracker chief strategy officer Sanjay Mewada said.

“Netcracker's 5G Monetization solution addresses these three challenges head-on through market-leading transformation expertise, comprehensive hybrid management capabilities for transitioning from 4G to 5G and proven use cases to monetize the 5G investment."

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