Viavi launches redcap device emulation

  • August 2, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

Arizona-based Viavi has launched reduced capability (redcap) device emulation for 5G network testing, enabling performance validation for IoT and private networks based on simpler devices including wearables, industrial wireless sensors and video surveillance.

This is based on the TM500 network test platform, used by most network equipment manufacturers for base station performance testing.

The 3GPP standard 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 such as ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC) and lower-end LPWA applications. In so doing, 3GPP formalised 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 lets equipment manufacturers create realistic scenarios of thousands of such devices carrying traffic.

With the upgraded TM500, redcap device testing can be seamlessly integrated into the existing test environment. The platform provides 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 existing integrations such as TM500 for redcap testing is the ability to reuse the well-established, 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 difficult propagation conditions.

“5G deployment may be stabilising globally, but industrial and private networks are just getting started,” said Ian Langley, senior vice president at 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.”

Viavi is a global provider of network test, monitoring and assurance products for communications service providers, hyperscalers, equipment manufacturers, enterprises, government and avionics. It is also a specialist in light management technologies for 3D sensing, anti-counterfeiting, consumer electronics, industrial, automotive, government and aerospace applications.