Test UE offering for 5G lab & field trials announced by NI

23 April 2019

NI Test UE for 5G NR in a ruggedised case
NI Test UE for 5G NR in a ruggedised case

Release 15 compliant 5G New Radio non-standalone system can help customers deliver 5G commercial wireless equipment to market faster.

National Instruments (NI), a provider of platform-based test & measurement systems for engineers and scientists, today announced a real-time 5G New Radio (NR) test UE offering. The NI Test UE offering 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 2019's imminent 5G commercial rollout, engineers will have to validate the design and functionality of 5G NR infrastructure equipment before productisation and release.

Based on the rugged industry standard 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, they can perform InterOperability Device Testing (IoDT), which is a critical part of the commercialisation 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 precommercial micro-cell, small-cell and macro-cell 5G NR gNodeB equipment.

Spirent has worked with NI to add 5G NR support to its existing portfolio of products. “As 5G was picking up steam, we looked to find a world-class 5G NR platform that would outperform the market today and continue to do so as the 5G market matures,” said Clarke Ryan, senior director of Product Development at Spirent. “As a leader in SDR-based radios since 2011, NI was the natural choice to ensure we have the best radio with the best testing capabilities to stay ahead of the curve for our 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 visualisation of the link’s performance.

“The industry is on the cusp of 5G commercial deployments, and mobile operators need to ensure that their infrastructure is 5G enabled in a virtualised, programmable, open and cost-efficient way,” said Neeraj Patel, Vice President & General Manager, Software & Services, Radisys. “NI is leveraging our first-to-market 5G Software Suite as the engine for its Test UE offering. Our complete 5G source code solution for UE, gNB and 5GCN represents a disruptive end-to-end enabling technology for customers to build 5G NR solutions. By powering such first to market test applications together with NI and Spirent, we are accelerating 5G commercialisation that will change how the world connects.”

NI also announced a collaboration with Radisys and CommScope to demonstrate a 28 GHz 5G New Radio (NR) network at the 6th annual Brooklyn 5G Summit this week. This first public demonstration of the three companies’ collaboration shows a 28 GHz base station, or gNodeB, built from a CommScope remote radio unit (RRU), running software developed by Radisys, that communicates with an NI Test UE.

For more information about the NI Test UE offering for 5G NR, visit ni.com/5g-test-ue

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