5G Field Testing

After many years of development in 3GPP, the 5G NR “New Radio” standard has achieved stability. Operators around the world have begun to deploy 5G networks and 5G devices available from multiple manufacturers. These together are providing new and improved capabilities and services to consumers globally. A key step for operators is to test and verify the interoperability of their 5G network and 5G devices, ensuring a high quality of experience for consumers.

The Field Trial Devices Group (FTDG), a sub-group of GSMA’s Terminal Steering Group, has enabled the industry to test these new 5G devices in live networks by developing a new suite of test cases. GSMA’s PRD TS.11 Device Field and Lab Test Guidelines has been updated with Annex M Detailed Test Procedures for 5G NR User Equipment, providing a full set of test cases that aim to test and verify the function and operation of devices implementing 3GPP’s NR standard. FTDG enjoys participation from operators, manufacturers and testing organisations. This broad participation enables comprehensive review of testing requirements and test cases, thus providing a high quality testing regime that meets the needs of industry.

The test suite provided in Annex M is comprehensive, covering basic operations (attach and detach, mobility, data transfer in various deployment configurations), performance aspects including power consumption and also interworking with legacy networks. By providing this comprehensive suite of tests, GSMA enables the entire industry to utilise a global, common field testing regime that not only verifies device operation and function in a single operator’s network but also provides a high level of confidence in device global interoperability, in all operator networks.

A globally recognised standard, TS.11 is a cited requirement by the Global Certification Forum in their certification criteria. FTDG and GCF have history of working together for the benefit of the industry, with procedures in place to take feedback and learnings from certification testing and apply these to a continual update and improvement of TS.11 in four updates to the standard each year.

GSMA’s TS.11 can be downloaded at the link below.

TS.11 Device Field and Lab Test Guidelnies

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