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  • Satellite Evolution Group

Rohde & Schwarz collaborates with Qualcomm to test 3GPP Rel. 17 GSO and GEO satellite chipsets

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

Rohde & Schwarz, in collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies will conduct a comprehensive set of tests for NB-IoT over non-terrestrial networks (NTN) to accurately verify two-way internet of things (IoT) data across various operating modes using GSO and GEO constellations in line with the 3GPP Release 17. At the MWC Shanghai 2023, Rohde & Schwarz will hold a live demonstration of the test solution at the company’s booth with Qualcomm Technologies’ NTN Release 17 IoT chipsets.


The R&S CMW500 wideband radio communication tester and R&S SMBV100B GNSS simulator emulate a satellite base station for 3GPP NTN testing. Rohde & Schwarz, in collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, will conduct a broad range of NB-IoT over NTN tests that address the many challenges inherent to satellite-based non-terrestrial networks that use geosynchronous orbit (GSO) and geostationary orbit (GEO) constellations. The test set covers time and frequency synchronization from prolonged delays and the Doppler effect, low signal-to interference-plus- noise ratio (SINR), power saving mechanisms, satellite ephemerides, GNSS acquisition and more.


These tests will be a validation tool for Qualcomm Technologies’ latest NTN chips, the Qualcomm® 212S and Qualcomm® 9205S. R&S CMW500 Protocol Testing Framework scenarios and the R&S CMW 3GPP Release 17 NTN IoT protocol enabler on a single R&S CMW500 wideband radio communication tester will help engineers assess their NTN NB-IoT devices powered by Qualcomm Technologies’ NTN chips under realistic conditions. The R&S CMW500 wideband radio communication tester emulates GSO and GEO satellite base stations in combination with the R&S SMBV100B, which generates GNSS signals. Establishing a real-time, comprehensive connection with the simulated GSO/GEO satellite network lets engineers test relevant signaling and RF scenarios in line with 3GPP Release 17.


Innovators like Qualcomm Technologies are leaders in enabling IoT applications via satellite by integrating satellite connectivity options into low power wide area (LPWA) chipsets. Non-terrestrial networks are revolutionizing global coverage on land, at sea and in the air for IoT applications by providing uninterrupted connectivity. Geosynchronous orbit (GSO) and geostationary orbit (GEO) satellites ensure consistent communication by enhancing performance and user experience even under challenging conditions. The advancements are vital for the agriculture, maritime, and logistics sectors as well as for asset tracking, which all depend heavily on extensive coverage, acceptable latency and reliability.


IoT device developers must understand the unique aspects of GSO and GEO, since each orbit has special benefits. Despite their apparent movement, GSO satellites cover higher latitudes like the Earth's poles, enhancing reach of IoT. GEO satellites are fixed in relation to Earth and provide continuous regional coverage, which is ideal for constant IoT connectivity and simplifies antenna design, reducing costs.Selecting the right orbit is vital when optimizing IoT device performance, connectivity reach and overall techno-economics.


As a leading test solution provider to the satellite and aerospace industries, Rohde & Schwarz has enabled 1/2 5G NTN with several satellite launches. The comprehensive range of solutions provides R&D and production testing of satellite payloads, ground stations, user terminals as well as the monitoring and maintenance of links.


Alexander Pabst, Vice President Market Segment Wireless Communications at Rohde & Schwarz, said: “Our extensive experience with the 3GPP wireless, satellite and aerospace ecosystems make us a trusted provider of optimized solutions for an industry leader like Qualcomm Technologies in the emerging NTN market. We are delighted to leverage our deep understanding of these industries and work with our partner on tailored test solutions that meet the specific needs of the 5G NTN satellite and aerospace industry.”


“Having been close collaboration partners with Rohde & Schwarz for years, we are happy to utilize their simulation tools to validate that Qualcomm Technologies’ IoT-NTN solutions are 3GPP Release 17 compliant,” said Vieri Vanghi, Vice President, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Our joint expertise ensures that OEMs integrating the Qualcomm 212S or Qualcomm 9205S SoCs benefit from best- in-class, low-power, standards-compliant solutions to achieve superior performance in a rapidly evolving landscape.”


At the Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2023, Rohde & Schwarz and Qualcomm Technologies will exhibit a cutting-edge testing and verification solutions for 3GPP NTN from Rohde & Schwarz, employing Qualcomm Technologies’ GSO and GEO 3GPP NTN Release 17 IoT chipsets at booth N1.B70 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC).

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