Measurements for Modern Networks and Telecommunication Systems
In a world where the possibility to have a broadband connection is a fundamental need, countries where this possibility is not warranted risk to have many problems for their development. For this reason, communication systems and technologies involved in computer and telecommunication networks play a very important role in a society that needs to be more and more connected at very high data rates.
To satisfy these requests, several technologies have been developed, especially in wireless and cellular communications, like 3G and 4G systems and more advanced technologies are under design and test, as 5G.
Thanks to these technologies, we can use (i) wireless sensor networks for many applications, (ii) access to advanced services like Video streaming, VoIP and so on. They have given the possibility to make real the idea of Internet of Things (IoT). To give a very good Quality of Service (QoS) to the users, it is fundamental to execute several measurements to avoid for example spectrum usage efficiency issues, electromagnetic interference and coexistence problems. In particular, in such contexts, measurements performed at different layers from physical to application of ISO/OSI stack and cross-layer analyses become fundamental for developers, testers, and users of such technologies and services.
As an example, the metrological characterization of transmitters and receivers chain operating at even more increasing frequencies (with particular reference to 5G) imposes new measurement challenges to be adequately faced by defining suitable measurement procedures and measurement setup able to warrant accuracies suitable for the purposes.
As computer networks regard, Quality of Experience (QoE) and Quality of Service (QoS) are interleaved concepts which enable to estimate the degree of satisfaction or annoyance of the user of an application or service. Objective measurements of QoS are today correlated to QoE to achieve an objective estimation of user’s perspective of the overall quality of the provided service. In such context, the metrological characterization of such indexes is required to provide a confidence level to such important quantities.
Furthermore, the advent of new wireless communication technologies unveils the current spectrum scarcity problem due to the static frequency allocation policy. A possible solution to this increasing demand for spectrum usage is the development of dynamic spectrum access paradigms that can be easily implemented with Cognitive radio devices. This technology surely represents a possibility to improve the spectrum usage efficiency for many applications (civil, military, vehicle to vehicle communications, to cite a few). In such a context, measurements are fundamentals for designing and developing new methods to improve the capability and accuracy of cognitive radio terminals in spectrum sensing also under critical Signal-to-Noise ratio.
In such scenario, the topics of interests for this special session include, but are not limited to:
- Measurements on 5G;
- Measurements for computer networks;
- Methods and techniques for networks performance assessment;
- QoE and QoS assessment in computer networks;
- Cognitive radio development and measurements;
- Measurement for coexistence and interference analysis in wireless networks;
- Measurement on RF telecommunication systems;
- Measurements on cellular networks and mobile terminals.
The special session is promoted and supported by TC-37 “Measurement & Networking” of IMS.
Michael D. Foegelle, Ph.D., ETS-Lindgren, Inc.
Invited Speaker Presentation Topic
RF Measurements in a 5G World
Organizers and Contact Information
Domenico Capriglione, University of Salerno (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Gianfranco Miele, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio (email@example.com)
RF Measurements in a 5G World
While many IT and networking experts may consider the physical layer of a wireless network as nothing more than a major inconvenience like a bad Ethernet cable, there’s an incredible amount of complexity to the operation of a single radio and to being able to make a wireless link between two radios. Most of the tests needed to qualify the functionality of a radio are traditionally done in a conducted environment using an RF cable, with only the final transmitter and receiver radiated performance of the fully integrated device having to be evaluated through the antenna. However new technologies being incorporated into the 5G New Radio will make that process impractical if not completely impossible. For 5G, high gain beamforming arrays will be used to direct a given signal to a specific user thereby increasing the network density by allowing multiple users in the same space without causing mutual interference. By directing the energy for a signal to the targeted user rather than broadcasting it to everyone on the network, power requirements are significantly reduced as well. So although these 5G radios will be much more efficient both in spectrum and power usage, they do so at a cost of complexity in design. These beamforming phased arrays replace a single antenna with tens or hundreds of antenna elements, each with their own associated RF circuitry. Even if one wanted to test each path separately, the physical constraints make adding connectors to each antenna element impractical at best, and impossible at the higher frequencies where the physical size and spacing of the elements shrink to a few millimeters. More importantly, since the net performance experienced by the user occurs in the main beam of the antenna after the power from each element is combined over the air, most of the desired operational and performance criteria can only be evaluated in a radiated over-the-air test. In addition, the added functionality of the beamformer itself, including its ability to track a target as a mobile device or other objects in the environment move, requires the development of new test requirements. This presentation will cover these topics in detail and discuss the latest progress in the 3GPP 5G New Radio RF
Test work item.