Test Center

Connected 5G technologies and applications

The test center at Fraunhofer IIS in Erlangen/Nürnberg is a facility for testing 5G technologies using virtual simulation on the computer and realistic emulation in the lab. It enables system and performance testing in the early stages of developing 5G components, systems and applications.

5G virtual simulation

Application-oriented simulation environments bring planned 5G systems to life in a virtual environment on the computer, even before the first prototypes are available. This is a quick and cost‑effective way for users to validate system parameters, such as throughput, latency, availability and coverage, or to perform initial assessments at an early stage.

Various link-level and system-level environments are available in the test center, which, in addition to connectivity, also take 5G positioning capabilities into account. Link-level simulations are used to optimize the performance of message transmission on a single mobile transmission path, while system-level simulations include all simultaneous transmissions in a communication network.

The focus is on applications in the fields of industrial communication (Industrial IoT), vehicle communication (V2X) and satellite-based networks (non-terrestrial networks, NTN).

Realistic 5G emulation

Following simulation, the next logical step is emulation in the lab. Extensive software defined radio (SDR) platforms are available for this purpose, which can be used to emulate – with real-time capability – the properties of planned systems and components in hardware. Compared with simulation, emulation enables test scenarios to be mapped with a greater degree of complexity and product specificity. The test center is fully geared to the use of software defined platforms that can be easily adapted and expanded at any time, thus allowing customer-specific requirements to be integrated with little effort. Based on these platforms, proof-of-concept demonstrators and measurement setups for narrowband IoT, positioning, integration of satellites into 5G and low-latency communication are available in the test center. The range of emulation platforms is rounded off by the option to test customer-specific equipment and edge computing algorithms in the Industry 4.0 test bed in Nürnberg.

Find out what works early on – testing in the conceptual design phase

What sets the test center apart is its close links to application-specific test beds for testing industrial and potential automotive use cases in a real-life context and over the air. The use of the test center and the test beds can be tailored to individual user requirements. As elements of a modular system, all options offered are available for use independently of one another.

The offering is primarily aimed at users, technology suppliers, network operators and device manufacturers, plus research institutions and universities.

Application development

The test center offers users looking to apply 5G technology the opportunity to commission feasibility studies, use case analyses and simulations of application scenarios. It is possible to test specific network configurations and device combinations in the lab and in the test beds.

Network testing

Network operators benefit from the unique combination of a stand-alone campus network and an excellently equipped test facility with the latest indoor positioning technologies, high-bay storage, AGVs and much more. Real-time emulation with software defined radio platforms, signal generators and channel emulators make it possible to test pre-release technology in realistic scenarios.

Component tests

The option to integrate functional modules in the lab or test bed, the open 5G NR RAN architecture, and a cloud-native stand-alone 5G core network provide device manufacturers with the best conditions for testing and characterizing new products in a confidential environment.

Features of the test center

Simulation icon

Simulation environments available for a range of application areas

  • Positioning
  • Vehicle-to-everything (V2X)
  • Non-terrestrial networks (NTN)
  • Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)
Emulation icon

Equipment available in the emulation labs

  • FR1 prototyping platform for frequencies up to 7 GHz
    • OpenAirInterface for LTE and 5G NR
    • Amarisoft for emulating 4G devices and 4G/5G cells
  • FR2 prototyping platform for mm-wave
    • Up to 24 channels
    • 400 MHz and 800 MHz bandwidth
    • Based on Xilinx RFSoC FPGA
  • Highly specialized testing and measurement equipment for 4G/5G
    • Keysight UXM 5G wireless test platform specifically for testing of user equipment (UE)
    • Keysight F64 channel emulator for emulating channel properties (terrestrial and satellite)
    • Anokiwave antennas for mm-waves
    • Sanjole WJ5000 protocol sniffer
    • 5G devices (e.g. Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, Huawei Mate 20 X 5G)
  •  TDOA measurement setup for positioning
  • Positioning with mm-wave massive MIMO
  • Setups for satellite integration in 5G (NTN), IoT (NB-IoT) and low latency (LTE sTTI)
  • Campus license for using the 3.7–3.8 GHz frequency band at our locations in Erlangen and Nürnberg

Availability and use

Initial simulation modules and test setups are already available and we are continuously expanding the emulation scenarios on offer. If you are interested in using the simulation and emulation facilities at the test center, please get in touch. We also encourage use of the test center for joint funding projects and other collaborations.

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