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5G RedCap Release 17 Connectivity Successfully Verified

Aug. 22, 2023
Using the R&S CMX500 OBT wireless communications tester, Rohde & Schwarz and MediaTek were able to verify 5G RedCap Rel. 17 connectivity.

This article is part of the TechXchange: 5G Test and Measurement.

The Overview 

Rohde & Schwarz and MediaTek successfully verified MediaTek’s 5G RedCap (reduced capability) test platform, as defined in 3GPP Release 17. Enabling an expanded range of 5G standalone devices, the solution is based on Rohde & Schwarz's CMX500 OBT wireless communications tester, which was tailored to support RedCap and other Release 17 features. The successful verification of its 5G RedCap test platform with the R&S CMX500 signaling tester gives MediaTek the green light to test, measure, and verify its final products with full confidence.

Who Needs It & Why? 

This solution will benefit anyone involved in wireless device development, as 5G RedCap introduces true mid-tier, enhanced machine-type communication (eMTC) to the 5G ecosystem. It will enable designers to launch advanced devices that expand and enhance the capability and complexity of legacy low-speed narrowband IoT solutions with an optimized design for mid-tier use cases.

5G RedCap modems are less complex, use less spectrum bandwidth, consume less power, and work only in standalone (SA) mode, in contrast to 5G modems designed for eMBB use-cases.

Christoph Pointner, Senior Vice President of Mobile Radio Testers at Rohde & Schwarz, said, “I am really honored that our R&S CMX500 will help the industry advance 5G and address new device types that support 5G RedCap in early R&D stages. We are committed to our close and long-standing partnership with MediaTek, and we will continue to innovate further to support all future RedCap and 5G enhancements in upcoming 3GPP releases after 17.”

Dr. Ho-Chi Hwang, General Manager of Wireless Communication System and Partnerships at MediaTek added, “Continuing our close collaboration with Rohde & Schwarz has enabled MediaTek to verify an important milestone towards the next era of 5G. MediaTek will bring the new capabilities of 5G RedCap into our next-gen product lines, and as one of the world’s largest 5G modem suppliers, this milestone gives our customers confidence in their strategic planning and innovation development.”

Under the Hood

Rohde & Schwarz optimized the R&S CMX500 OBT for IoT testing so that MediaTek could verify the various RedCap aspects defined in 3GPP 5G Rel. 17 for network access restrictions, bandwidth parts (BWP), bandwidth part switching, power saving, and other RedCap-specific protocol signaling procedures.

With a one-box tester configuration, the R&S CMX500 wireless communications tester supports all relevant 5G frequencies up to 8 GHz via the intuitive and flexible R&S CMsquares web-based user interface. Suitable for all 5G mobile devices and chipsets, the R&S CMX500-based signaling test solution supports all 5G NR network deployment configurations and frequency ranges, including the FR1, FR2, and LTE bands. The R&S CMX500 OBT lite offers a cost-effective compact hardware configuration optimized for all RedCap testing requirements.

Read more articles in the TechXchange: 5G Test and Measurement.

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About the Author

Alix Paultre | Editor-at-Large, Microwaves & RF

Alix is Editor-at-Large for Microwaves & RF

An Army veteran, Alix Paultre was a signals intelligence soldier on the East/West German border in the early ‘80s, and eventually wound up helping launch and run a publication on consumer electronics for the U.S. military stationed in Europe. Alix first began in this industry in 1998 at Electronic Products magazine, and since then has worked for a variety of publications, most recently as Editor-in-Chief of Power Systems Design.

Alix currently lives in Wiesbaden, Germany.

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