Test and Measurement: Verizon, T-Mobile US test the C-Band

5G Top Stories

With a C-Band spectrum auction set to begin December 8, Verizon and T-Mobile US are ramping up their testing of the spectrum.

This week, T-Mobile US was granted permission for a two-year testing period to try out 5G New Radio in C-Band spectrum testing at 3.7-3.8 GHz band — in the lower portion of the band — at locations in and around Las Vegas, NV; Houston, TX; Phoenix, AZ; the carrier’s hometown of Bellevue, WA; and New York, NY.

T-Mobile US said in its request for special temporary authority to use the spectrum that the access would “permit T-Mobile to begin to assess, in cooperation with equipment manufacturers, how to best evaluate the use of C Band spectrum for Fifth Generation New Radio (‘5G NR’) operations.”

Meanwhile, Verizon was recently granted a one-year STA for outdoor testing of the same 100 megahertz of spectrum in the areas of coastal Carpinteria, CA in Santa Barbara County, and the Solvang, CA area about 50 miles away. Verizon noted in its filing that the spectrum at 3.7-3.8 GHz that it sought to test “is a subset of the recently expanded flexible use C-Band in the ranges of 3.7 to 3.98 GHz range, which will be auctioned at the end of the year.” Verizon’s testing involves nine outdoor sites.

Verizon also sought STA permission in June for the testing the same spectrum at nine sites around the country, including Basking Ridge, NJ, Sunnyvale, CA and several sites in Michigan, using equipment from Ericsson.

In February, the FCC adopted rules for the C-band at 3.7-4.2 GHz that allocated the lower 280 megahertz of the band, at 3.7-3.98 GHz, for terrestrial wireless use. Existing satellite operators will have to repack their operations into the upper 200 megahertz of the band from 4.0-4.2 GHz, and there is a 20-megahertz guard band at 3.98-4.0 GHz.

In other test news:

ETSI said that its recent cellular vehicle-to-everything remote interoperability plugtest event held at the end of July achieved a 94% test success rate. The event, organized with the 5G Automotive Association, included 81 participants from 16 vendors and more than 300 tests were executed, based on ETSI ITS security test specifications. Spirent Communications, Keysight Technologies and TUV Rheinland were among the test companies involved in the event. Read the ETSI plugtest report here (pdf).

Intertek is expanding its 5G certification services to the Asia Pacific region after adding new testing platforms and software at its existing cellular conformance test lab in Taipei. Intertek said that its 5G-related services for mobile and IoT devices were previously only available in the United States.

Rohde & Schwarz said that test and measurement equipment company Continental Resources has expanded its high volume test services by adding availability of the R&S CMX500 and R&S CMW500 radio communication testers for 5G device testing and 4G/LTE device testing.

-A recent survey of test engineers by Keysight Technologies attempted to quantify the impact that test equipment issues have on business operations. More than half of the survey respondents said that it costs their business $100,000 or more in waste per day as they try to resolve the issues that stymie the progress of R&D teams. Read the full story here. 

Keysight also said this week that Chinese smartphone manufacturer Meizu is using the test company’s Radio Frequency Automation toolset to verify 5G devices from research and development to the point of manufacturing, and in particular, to validate 5G enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) capabilities.

Meanwhile, Keysight’s CX3300 Device Current Waveform Analyzer is being used by Waseda University in Japan to support the university’s research on hardware Trojan detection.

Viavi Solutions is equipping China Mobile’s research arm  with end-to-end 5G O-RAN fronthaul and optical transport test solutions. This includes Viavi’s ONT-800 Optical Network Tester for China Mobile Research Institute to conduct performance testing and validation of G.MTN interfaces and related protocols, the test company said.

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