Rohde & Schwarz

Collaboration Addresses Non-Terrestrial IoT Deployments

Feb. 16, 2024
Rohde & Schwarz collaborates with Sony Semiconductor Israel to reach milestones for NTN NB-IoT roll-out.

The Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) released the narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) protocol to serve IoT use-case requirements, recognizing that the terrestrial network alone isn't enough for truly ubiquitous coverage. The initiative addresses the need for a satellite component into the telecommunications infrastructure to extend coverage to areas unserved or underserved by current terrestrial approaches.

Stimulating the development of NB-IoT over non-terrestrial networks (NTNs), Rohde & Schwarz and Sony Semiconductor Israel developed the first 3GPP Rel. 17 NTN NB-IoT RF performance verification, along with validated PCT-based test cases. Demonstrating the market readiness of NTN NB-IoT technology, Rohde & Schwarz is showing a live demonstration of NTN NB-IoT testing at MWC Barcelona 2024, with Sony’s Altair NTN Release 17 IoT device.

Rohde & Schwarz successfully validated and verified Sony’s Altair device for its NTN NB-IoT capability using the R&S CMW500 mobile radio tester platform, verifying all 3GPP-defined RF parameters on the chipset in an interactive testing mode.  Testing for both geostationary and geosynchronous orbit situations, the chipset was also validated with released protocol conformance test cases for compliance and performance.

Both companies have committed to completing Skylo’s certified test plan on the R&S CMW500. Skylo, a pioneer in NTN, has worked closely with both Rohde & Schwarz and Sony to ensure test plans satisfy industry standards, and the Altair ALT1250 can now be upgraded for NTN connectivity and embedded into devices for dual-mode operations.

The R&S CMW500 covers testing needs from R&D to conformance and operator testing for NTN NB-IoT. It not only supports protocol, RRM and RF conformance testing in line with 3GPP, but also the Skylo test plan, which is required to operate on the Skylo Network.

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