VIAVI Introduces RedCap Device, Boosting 5G IoT

Viavi Solutions Inc. launches today a reduced capability (RedCap) device emulation for 5G network testing, enabling performance validation for Internet of Things (IoT) and private networks based on a class of simpler, lower-cost devices including wearables, industrial wireless sensors and video surveillance.

The solution is based on the TM500 network test platform, used by the majority of network equipment manufacturers for base station performance testing.

3GPP introduced RedCap devices, also known as broadband IoT or NR-Light, in 5G NR Release 17. These mid-tier IoT devices have average speed and latency requirements, in between high-end use cases like ultra-reliable low latency communications (URLLC) and lower-end low-power wide-area (LPWA) applications.

In so doing, 3GPP formalized support for devices being deployed at the network edge for IoT and industry 4.0 applications.

With early validation efforts focused on conformance and network emulation, VIAVI has filled a gap with the availability of RedCap device emulation. Based on the user equipment (UE) emulation capabilities of the TM500, RedCap device emulation enables equipment manufacturers to create realistic scenarios of thousands of such devices carrying traffic.

With the upgraded TM500, RedCap device testing can be integrated into the existing test environment. The platform provides the capability to simulate RedCap-like traffic patterns, generate RedCap-specific signaling, and evaluate the network’s performance for RedCap use cases.

A key advantage of using existing integrated solutions like TM500 for RedCap testing is the ability to reuse the embedded, per-device fading channel models. Fading channels emulate real-world wireless propagation conditions, including multipath propagation and signal fading, which are crucial for testing the performance and reliability of a live network environment.

The TM500, combined with fading channel models, allows for accurate simulation of different scenarios and helps assess the performance of RedCap devices in challenging propagation conditions.

“5G deployment may be stabilizing globally, but industrial and private networks are just getting started,” said Ian Langley, senior vice president of Wireless Business Unit, VIAVI. “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.”

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