Viavi Solutions launches industry-first RedCap device emulation

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Viavi Solutions has introduced the industry’s first Reduced Capability (RedCap) device emulation for 5G network testing.

This breakthrough technology enables true performance validation for the IoT and private networks using simpler, lower-cost devices, including wearables, industrial wireless sensors, and video surveillance equipment.

Viavi’s emulation solution is built upon the TM500 network test platform, which is widely used by network equipment manufacturers for base station performance testing.

The solution leverages the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standard for RedCap devices – also known as Broadband IoT or NR-Light – which was introduced in 5G NR Release 17. These mid-tier IoT devices have average speed and latency requirements, making them suitable for IoT and Industry 4.0 applications deployed at the network edge.

Ian Langley, Senior Vice President, Wireless Business Unit, VIAVI.

“5G deployment may be stabilising globally, but industrial and private networks are just getting started.

RedCap specifications provide the missing link for the class of devices used in such applications, so equipment manufacturers and operators can pursue development and deployment with confidence.

The TM500 adds essential validation capabilities with device emulation, further accelerating RedCap adoption.”

Until now, early validation efforts in 5G network testing focused on conformance and network emulation, leaving a significant gap in RedCap device testing. Viavi’s innovation claims to fill this void, enabling equipment manufacturers to create realistic scenarios of thousands of RedCap devices carrying traffic in the test environment.

The upgraded TM500 platform seamlessly integrates RedCap device testing into the existing test environment, providing the capability to simulate RedCap-like traffic patterns, generate RedCap-specific signalling, and evaluate the network’s performance for RedCap use cases. 

One of the key advantages of using TM500 for RedCap testing is the ability to reuse well-established, embedded per-device fading channel models.

Fading channel models are essential for emulating real-world wireless propagation conditions, including multipath propagation and signal fading. These conditions are crucial for accurately testing the performance and reliability of devices in a live network environment.

By combining the TM500 with fading channel models, Viavi enables accurate simulation of various scenarios, helping assess the performance of RedCap devices in challenging propagation conditions.

Viavi’s introduction of the industry’s first RedCap device emulation for 5G network testing represents a significant step forward for IoT and private networks.

With the ability to validate RedCap devices’ performance and reliability, manufacturers and operators can confidently push forward in the development and deployment of next-generation 5G applications and services.

(Image Credit: Viavi Solutions)

See also: Global 5G IoT roaming connections to hit 142M by 2027

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