Test & Measurement

Keysight enables Quectel 5G RedCap and NTN module verification

29th June 2023
Harry Fowle

Keysight has recently enabled Quectel to verify that its IoT wireless modules support the latest 5G reduced capability (RedCap) and non-terrestrial networks (NTN) features by establishing end-to-end data call connections using the Keysight S8711A UXM 5G Test Application.

This achievement accelerates Quectel's development of 3GPP 5G Release 17 (Rel-17) compliant designs.

Based on the 5G Rel-17 specification, RedCap introduces support for a new class of 5G devices with reduced 5G capabilities. These devices are less complex, lower cost, and consume less power, allowing them to address new use cases such as industrial sensors and wearables. The successful end-to-end RedCap data connection to the Quectel module Rx255C was made by emulating a 5G Rel-17 network with enhancements supporting RedCap devices.

NTN, based on satellite-to-ground communication, brings secure and reliable connectivity to remote areas that do not have terrestrial network coverage. Use cases for NTN deployments include industrial IoT, mission-critical and emergency communications, and connected vehicles. The successful end-to-end NTN connection was made to the Quectel modules CC660D-LS and CC950U-LS by emulating a constellation of satellites in geostationary orbits (GEO), which worked in transparent mode delivering a satellite network.

Following the successful data call establishments for each technology, Quectel was able to validate the overall functionality of the module, including:

  • Implementation of the correct protocols in accordance with the 3GPP standards
  • Radio frequency (RF) performance by conducting measurements such as Block Error Rates (BLER)
  • Data throughputs rates achieved for various scenarios

To complete these verification milestones, Quectel used Keysight's S8711A UXM 5G Test Application, part of Keysight's comprehensive and market-leading portfolio of 5G Device Test Solutions. This solution provides first-to-market support for the latest Rel-17 features, the ability to emulate satellites in GEO, geosynchronous orbits (GSO), and low earth orbits (LEO), and support for advanced orbit emulation and fading scenarios. The solution's easy-to-use user interface allows comprehensive testing of mobile devices across the protocol, RF, functional, and performance domains.

Norbert Muhrer, President and CSO at Quectel, said: "We are glad to see that Keysight's RedCap and NTN test solutions have enabled us to develop modules supporting these technologies much quicker than anticipated, helping accelerate the availability of commercial services for these technologies."

Peng Cao, Vice President and General Manager at the Keysight Wireless Test Group, said: "The successful verification of RedCap and NTN technologies on Quectel's IoT module is a significant step in the deployment of these new technologies. We will continue to provide industry-leading coverage of the latest features in the 3GPP standards."

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