Reminiscing the last few years, the rate of technological innovations has grown at lightning speed, framing a new model of the future for the next generation.
Whether it is in industry, automotive or the most recent market of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, the rapid technological updates launched almost every month leave their impression in every possible field.
If we consider ADAS-based vehicles and smart devices as the ammunition that will drive the future, then 5G is the firepower that will ignite this drive at a whole new level.
Fulfilling the never-ending demands of consumers is a tiring task if the performance is not revised at a steady interval.
It is especially true in the case of wireless technology where new 5G advancements introduced in 2019 will revive the stagnated power capacity of wireless systems.
According to the current performance testing, 5G enables speeds up to 100 times faster than existing cellular connections along with a steady latency in the 1-millisecond range.
It is highly predicted that 5G will even surpass the current capabilities of physical fiber optics once updated thoroughly.
For a successful transition of existing cellular technologies, engineers all around the world have started their research in 5G Testing as numerous test practices are now getting developed with new advancements to ensure the consistent 5G performance for the end user’s demand.
However, before diving deeper into the analytics of 5G Testing in 2022, we should first check out what is 5G Testing in 2022 and why is it needed in the first place.
What is 5G Testing?
The core of 5G Testing stems from the multiple tools, protocols, software and the specific practices required during 5G deployment phases.
The concept of 5G Testing derives to check the performance, safety and reliability of new wireless technology by verifying its download speeds, latency and even its expansive coverage density.
Nonetheless, 5G Testing in 2022 is not bounded by only these parameters.
In simpler terms, simple end-to-end 5G test solutions play a significant role in the development, operational excellence and deployment of emerging 5G networks.
However, every change requires dedicated commitment, and the 5G Testing field is no exception.
This is where different 5G Testing software, protocols and standards bring a variety of results that accelerate the performance and latency of the network in long term.
Is 5G Testing Required?
Named as the 5th generation in the mobile network, 5G represents the global wireless standard after 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G networks.
5G Testing in 2022 plays a critical part in enabling 5G potential as its test solutions have quickly adapted to complex use cases and architectural advancements in RAN and fiber network elements such that integration of 5G and other technologies goes smoother.
With 5G fiber networks getting challenged to meet the demands of front haul and backhaul having higher speed, bandwidth, reliability and synchronization, 5G Testing and its solutions present the only way out of this critical deadlock.
And though network function virtualization (NFV) and edge computing might present additional visibility obstacles, advanced test solutions and network optimization hold the key for better innovation practices.
Safety of 5G consumption at a mass scale to replace the limited performance issues of cellular technology is another reason that values the practices of 5G Testing in 2022.
Challenges in 5G Network Testing
Millimeter-wave utilization, beamforming and MIMO constitute the core infrastructure of 5G and paves the pathway to tremendous performance enhancements.
However, added complexity added by these innovations can also pose new challenges for 5G test networks and the overall 5G Testing process.
Generally, MIMO stands for many or more antennas that signify a higher test burden to ensure that all integrated antennas are fully operational.
Channel emulation also becomes more complex with 5G, as the number of necessary RF channels increases exponentially as opposed to its linear expansion that is generally encountered with 3G and 4G releases.
RF Design challenges in 5G are another major issue while deploying a 5G network. If you want more details, check out my previous article, “RF Design Challenges in 5G”.
To keep the 5G test equipment practical, the electronics technology must upgrade rapidly to compensate for the required intricacy.
5G Testing Key Practices
Despite 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) or the industry organization that defines the global specifications for 3G UMTS, 4G LTE, and 5G technologies, releasing its preliminary standard for 5G NR, 5G Testing still possess new areas in need of refinement.
Standardization is the key to developing accurate 5G Testing models, that lead to more harmonized test practices.
With LTE standards adopted everywhere for smartphones and other devices, we should be ready to anticipate a similar evolution for 5G Testing best practices.
Inheriting the enormous frequency range and high-bandwidth services qualities, 5G technology needs standardization of best practices to advance as its tools, and applications develop in the next few years.