Arizona-based VIAVI yesterday launched Reduced Capability (RedCap) device emulation, revolutionizing 5G network testing and propelling the deployment of IoT and private networks. This innovative technology enables performance validation for a diverse range of simpler devices, including wearables, industrial wireless sensors, and video surveillance equipment.
The breakthrough RedCap device emulation is built on the renowned TM500 network test platform, widely adopted by leading network equipment manufacturers for base station performance testing. By introducing RedCap devices, also known as broadband IoT or NR-Light, in the 5G NR Release 17 standard, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) has officially embraced the deployment of devices at the network edge for IoT and Industry 4.0 applications.
RedCap devices occupy a middle-ground between high-end use cases like ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC) and lower-end Low-Power Wide-Area (LPWA) applications. These mid-tier IoT devices possess moderate speed and latency requirements, catering to a broad spectrum of IoT applications.
With early validation efforts in the 5G ecosystem focusing on conformance and network emulation, the introduction of RedCap device emulation by VIAVI has significantly bridged a crucial gap. Leveraging the powerful user equipment (UE) emulation capabilities of the TM500, equipment manufacturers can now create highly realistic scenarios involving thousands of RedCap devices carrying traffic.
Seamless integration of RedCap device testing into existing test environments is made possible by the upgraded TM500. The platform boasts the capability to simulate RedCap-like traffic patterns, generate RedCap-specific signaling, and evaluate the network’s performance for diverse RedCap use cases.
One of the standout advantages of utilizing existing integrations, such as the TM500, for RedCap testing lies in the ability to reuse well-established, embedded, per-device fading channel models. These fading channels effectively emulate real-world wireless propagation conditions, including multipath propagation and signal fading. This accurate representation of live network environments is crucial for testing the performance and reliability of RedCap devices.
With the support of fading channel models, the TM500 enables precise simulation of different scenarios, allowing thorough assessments of RedCap device performance under challenging propagation conditions.
As 5G deployment stabilizes on a global scale, industrial and private networks are rapidly gaining momentum. RedCap specifications now serve as the missing link for a class of devices used in such applications. Equipment manufacturers and network operators can confidently pursue development and deployment, thanks to the essential validation capabilities offered by the TM500 and its groundbreaking device emulation capabilities.
Ian Langley, Senior Vice President at VIAVI, emphasized the significance of RedCap adoption, stating, “5G deployment may be stabilizing 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.”
Headquartered in Arizona, VIAVI is a renowned global provider of network test, monitoring, and assurance products for various stakeholders, including communications service providers, hyperscalers, equipment manufacturers, enterprises, governments, and avionics. Beyond its contributions to network technology, VIAVI also specializes in light management technologies catering to 3D sensing, anti-counterfeiting, consumer electronics, industrial, automotive, government, and aerospace applications.