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Test & Measurement

Test vendors unveil 5G tools for telcos

Two network test vendors have introduced new tools that aim to take some of the pain out of deploying and operating 5G network infrastructure, which, as one pointed out, "has a radically different architecture from previous cellular generations."

First out of the gate was Germany's Rohde & Schwarz, which unveiled the 5G Site Testing Solution (5G STS), described as an "integrated package of proven test equipment that combines all the necessary functional, RF and signaling tests for 5G installation and troubleshooting."

Hot on its heels is US-based Viavi Solutions, whose new OneAdvisor modular test platform is "designed to address the evolving requirements of communication service providers, their field technicians and their contractors," taking the complexity out of the test process.

Rohde & Schwarz's new test kit seems to be specifically targeted at improving gNodeB site acceptance and troubleshooting when problems arise on existing cell sites. Viavi, meanwhile, said the first available tool on the OneAdvisor platform is the ONA-800 cell site installation tool, which aims to facilitate the more "aggressive network deployment."

Telcos and vendors certainly need all the help they can get if they are to achieve a successful rollout of 5G networks. Kevin Oliver, vice president and general manager of converged instruments and virtual test at Viavi, touched on some of the challenges they face, describing 5G as "a quantum leap in network complexity, from the frequency bands used, to diversity of the x-haul technologies, to the possibility of multiple radio vendors."

5G rollout announcements are certainly coming thick and fast, and many telcos are already in the process of expanding coverage to gain an edge over rivals.

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— Anne Morris, Contributing Editor, Light Reading

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