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Test and Measurement: Companies expand IoT testing capabilities

The ecosystem support for testing internet of things devices is expanding, with a number of recent announcements related to IoT testing.

Test lab group SGS is addressing the new for new test chamber capabilities for large form-factor “things” in the IoT — it recently opened a new, large semi-anechoic electromagnetic compatibility testing chamber in Finland that’s large enough for heavy equipment such as tractors, industrial trucks and forestry equipment, according to the company. SGS said the new chamber in Tuusula, Finland is one of the largest commercial EMC test chambers in northern Europe and complements its testing facilities in Espoo and Helsinki.

“Anything that fits under a motorway bridge can be tested in this chamber, as long as the length does not exceed ten meters”, said SGS EMC specialist Timo Hietala in a statement on the new chamber.

Testing of connected and autonomous vehicles was also the focus of a recent visit by U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to the International Transportation Innovation Center, a test bed for connected and autonomous vehicle technologies in Greenville, S.C. Foxx said that “we are on the cusp of one of the most dramatic transformations in the history of transportation” and was able to observe demos from companies including BMW, Cisco, Duke Energy, Mobileye, Oakridge National Laboratory, Proterra and Toyota.

The federal government recently released proposed guidelines for testing and deploying automated vehicles; it is taking comments on those guidelines until late November.

On the standards front, oneM2M recently published Release 2 of its global standard for IoT device interworkings, and addresses devices that making use of AllSeen Alliance’s AllJoyn, Open Connectivity Foundation’s OIC, and the Open Mobile Alliance’s Lightweight M2M. Standards proliferation, as well as the fact that IoT-specific standards are still emerging, has been a challenge for IoT testing.

Also related to one of the common use cases cited for IoT — remote video monitoring — UL has launched the first certification for managed video monitoring services used for remote guarding, in cases a company offers a command and response type of service based on video streams from remote locations.

RCR will be hosting an Oct. 12 webinar on IoT testing with speakers from Verizon’s ICSA Labs, Frost & Sullivan, LitePoint,  InterDigital and NetScout — register for the event here.

In other test news:

-By the way, both Verizon and T-Mobile US have said that they plan to use the new Wi-Fi coexistence plan for LTE-U devices. During a recent webinar hosted by New America’s Open Technology Institute, representatives from both companies said that they expect to use the recently released test plan that was developed under the auspices of Wi-Fi Alliance.

Their remarks, in part, included these answers to a question about whether or not the carriers would use the LTE-U coexistence test plan:

“Verizon is still reviewing the Wi-Fi Alliance test plan, there were significant changes made at the end,” said Patrick Walsh of Verizon. “But we anticipate that all LTE-U equipment would undergo that testing and pass before it’s deployed.  The same would go for LAA, we’d anticipate that all LAA devices would fully comply with Release 13 of 3GPP and hopefully get on to the next generation technology.”

Meanwhile, T-Mobile’s Steve Sharkey said, “To the extent that coexistence has been a question, we want to make sure that devices do coexist and live up to what we expect them to do.  So the test plan is an important part of that and we expect devices will demonstrate that they coexist fairly, you know, whether they’re LTE-U or LAA, which would comply with the Release 13.  And we do require manufacturers [to ensure] we are not deploying equipment that doesn’t comply with standards.”

Anritsu just added baseband unit emulation to its BTS Master MT8220T, to support the ability to validate that a remote radio head is properly installed before the BBU is functional. An Anritsu spokesman confirmed that the BBU emulation capability was developed independently of Anritsu’s recently announced purchase of channel emulation specialist Azimuth Systems. Still, expect to see more emulation products integrated across Anritsu’s product lines, given the purchase of Azimuth.

P3 Communications is working with British telecom regulator Ofcom to measure mobile customer experience through a customized version of the company’s U Get app which is being offered as the Ofcom Mobile Research app. Ofcom is encouraging wireless users to download the app and said that it plans to use the resulting data to “build an independent benchmark for both consumers and industry. It will help mobile customers make purchasing and switching decisions, and will be used to enhance Ofcom’s mobile coverage maps and consumer research.

P3 is also in the midst of work on benchmarking report of wireless networks in the United Kingdom, testing the networks of EE, O2, Three and Vodafone. The report is slated to be released in early November.

Peregrine Semiconductor is growing and moved its U.K. operations into a new office that quadruples the available space; the company said that its U.K. team has grown 90% since the company’s acquisition by Murata last year. Peregrine also launched a new power limiter and a silicon-on-insulator switch for use in test and measurement equipment this week.

Keysight Technologies has a new test solution for the emerging 802.11ad standard. The company is also involved with some advanced research on terahertz frequencies — it collaborated with Virginia Diodes to put together a 1.5 THz measurement solution for Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. The system is already up and running to support Chalmers’ research in the “terahertz gap” between radio waves and infrared light, for work with free-space, on-wafer and waveguide measurements. Keysight said that the work it is supporting will include “research on new materials, devices, and circuits for applications at micro-, millimeter- and sub-millimeter-wave frequencies.”

ABOUT AUTHOR

Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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