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New Test Case Enables Satellite-to-Ground 5G Connectivity, Boosting Rural and Remote Access
Validation obtained at Conformance Agreement Group meeting #76 will speed certification of devices, chipsets, and modules using non-terrestrial networks technology
New Test Case Enables Satellite-to-Ground 5G Connectivity, Boosting Rural and Remote Access
by Brad Bartz
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Nov 09, 2023

Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS), a prominent player in the field of testing and measurement equipment, has marked a significant milestone by validating the first protocol conformance test case for the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Release 17 (Rel-17) standards, specifically focusing on non-terrestrial networks (NTNs) using narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) technology. This achievement was announced following the company's participation in the Conformance Agreement Group (CAG) #76 meeting organized by the Global Certification Forum (GCF).

The move towards non-terrestrial networks, particularly those leveraging 5G standards, is a pivotal evolution for global connectivity. NTNs are set to extend mobile coverage and broadband internet access to rural areas, which often remain underserved due to the absence of traditional terrestrial infrastructure. This expansion is not only vital for individuals in these regions but is also expected to bring substantial benefits to several key sectors, including agriculture, energy, health, and transportation, by fostering better connectivity and data exchange.

The newly validated NB-IoT NTN test case, which is integrated with Keysight's 5G network emulation conformance test platform, known as TP168, ensures that chipsets and devices can withstand the significant path loss and delays characteristic of NTNs. Accessible through the S8704A Protocol Conformance Toolset, this test case is part of a broad array of testing protocols prioritized by GCF and PTCRB-two entities that are instrumental in the certification of wireless devices. The toolset is designed to assist developers in certifying their chipsets, modules, and devices, streamlining their journey towards market readiness.

Muthu Kumaran, General Manager at Keysight, highlighted the company's dedication to supporting the NTN device ecosystem and its swift response to new 5G New Radio specifications. "This 3GPP Release 17 LTE NTN test case validation underscores Keysight's commitment to the NTN device ecosystem and the ability to rapidly adopt new 5G New Radio specifications," he stated.

Keysight's involvement in this domain is not just a technical endeavor but also a strategic step toward realizing the broader goals of 5G NTN deployments. By enabling these test cases, Keysight is facilitating the development of devices that can operate within the demanding environment of satellite-to-ground communication networks. This supports the industry's aim to achieve universal mobile connectivity and provides a robust platform for innovation in areas where traditional cellular network coverage is impractical.

With the validation of this test case, Keysight Technologies is reinforcing its position as a leader in the field of wireless testing. The company's work plays a crucial role in ensuring that the next generation of wireless technology can meet the diverse needs of users worldwide, regardless of their geographical location. As 5G technology continues to evolve, the need for comprehensive testing solutions that cover the full spectrum of potential use cases, including those in NTNs, becomes increasingly important. Keysight's commitment to this end is evident in its consistent efforts to support and validate new technologies that drive the industry forward.

As NTNs become more integrated into the global communications infrastructure, Keysight's testing solutions are expected to be at the forefront, providing the necessary tools to verify compliance with the latest standards and helping to ensure a smooth and efficient rollout of new technologies.

In conclusion, Keysight's validation of the first 3GPP Release 17 NB-IoT test case for NTNs is a significant step towards enabling the widespread adoption of 5G technology in non-terrestrial environments. This development is poised to have a profound impact on connectivity in remote areas, empowering industries and enhancing the lives of individuals in these communities. As the technology progresses, Keysight Technologies is positioned to remain a key contributor to the advancement of the global communications landscape.

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