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THE POWER OF TESTING IOT DEVICES
THE POWER OF TESTING IOT DEVICES

The Internet of Things (IoT) and even more the Internet of Everything (IoE) will impact all industries and ultimately everyone's daily life. Already today, things such as containers, street lights, trash cans, trees and cows are connected to the Internet, and who can imagine what will be connected in the near future  the possibilities are infinite. New markets are evolving, such as smart homes, connected cars, smart grids and smart healthcare. Common to all these markets and related applications is the use of realtime data from connected “things” to improve all kinds of processes and ultimately to save money, energy and life. Therefore, the expectations on reliability, performance, quality of experience and longtime availability are extremely high and connectivity becomes a critical success factor.
 
Some applications requiring global coverage and mobility will focus on cellular technologies in the future, especially on LTE-M and NB-IoT. But the majority of devices will use non-cellular wireless technologies such as Bluetooth®, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, THREAD, EnOcean, SIGFOX, LoRa™ and others that are operating in unlicensed ISM/SRD bands. Testing of the overall communications behavior of IoT devices is an important topic in all phases of the product lifecycle in order to ensure proper functionality as well as lifetime quality and performance.


Summed up as IoT applications, the design challenges may vary. Reliable communications for a smart meter installed in the basement or a modem in a fast moving car must be ensured and battery life requirements of more than 10 years must be fulfilled. To begin with, all such devices require an appropriate hardware and software design. However, it is crucial to verify the design under all relevant test conditions. During development, the RF design needs to be tested under specified RF conditions. In addition, performance measurements, such as power consumption and battery lifetime, are essential. IoT devices also often support more than one wireless technology, including cellular and non-cellular standards. Coexistence tests ensure proper and interference-free operation of each standard implemented in a multistandard IoT device.
 
Before wireless devices can go on air, they must be tested against the applicable regulatory standards and operator-specific requirements. For cellular IoT devices, the compliance requirements defined by the Global Certification Forum (GCF) must be met, which include dedicated tests for machine type communications (MTC) features defined by 3GPP. Mobile operators define additional tests which need to be passed for carrier acceptance. Non-cellular devices also have to meet certain regulatory requirements defined by ETSI and FCC or standard requirements defined by Bluetooth® SIG or the LoRa™Alliance. Finally, for mass production, optimized test setups in the factory detect manufacturing defects within seconds, ensuring the expected quality of a wireless IoT device.
 
This seems to be very complicated, time-consuming and costly, especially for players entering the wireless communications arena for the first time. As a leader in wireless communications testing, Rohde & Schwarz is your partner, helping you to understand the testing needs and setups and to perform all necessary tests and measurements to bring your IoT application to market as quickly as possible – with the desired quality and performance.
 



Test and measurement solutions from Rohde & Schwarz cover all major cellular and non-cellular technologies. Our comprehensive product portfolio offers the right T&M solution for your IoT device – from the first product idea through the full device lifecycle.
 




IoT  Carrier Acceptance Test System from Rohde & Schwarz


The Internet of Things (IoT) is taking shape. Manufacturers who want to integrate wireless modules into their products now face completely new test requirements. Network operators worldwide are gearing up to launch IoT services and will soon start publishing test requirements for IoT integrators. In response, Rohde & Schwarz  TS 290 IoT carrier acceptance test system based on the highly successful R&S CMW platform is ready for design, development and testing of the IoT devices. The solution is capable of RF, protocol and performance testing in a single box.
 
The Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) estimates that more than 80 billion devices will be networked worldwide by the year 2024. Network operators are working now to prepare their networks for this explosive number of IoT wireless modules, with a focus on device categories Cat 1, Cat M1 and Cat NB1.
 
Too many IoT devices can overload networks and impair their performance. These devices must be tested to ensure that networks function properly. To this end, some of the operators in the US have published a Host Device Certification Test Plan for manufacturers of IoT-enabled devices. The certification test plan goes beyond the basic requirements set down by the 3GPP (the standardization body for wireless communications) and defines additional requirements for subscriber devices in the network.The R&S TS 290 will be capable of supporting future IoT tests from other network operators, dependent on the required test scope. Some of the test areas supported by the TS290 are LTE Data Throughput , LTE Data Retry , LTE SMS ,LTE IMS Registration and IMS Registration Retry. Depending on the availability and content of additional operator specific IoT test specifications the scope of the TS-290 can be  extended in the future.
 
The R&S TS 290 test system is madeup of an R&S CMW290 functional radio communication tester and the R&S CONTEST sequencer software. The software runs provider-specific RF, protocol and performance test cases – fully automatically and with reproducible results. Users, even those without programming knowledge, can create their own test plans conveniently with the drag-and-drop function.
 
The R&S CMW290 functional radio communication tester meets the specific requirements of IoT integrators and their typically cost-sensitive applications. The tester handles cellular technologies such as LTE as well as WLAN and Bluetooth. For end-to-end application testing, the R&S CMW290 can simulate a cellular network and set up a connection between the application on the device or system and the server. This enables users to verify the correct functioning of platforms with integrated wireless modules in a defined network.
 

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