Technology Background

Conformance Testing of NB-IoT Modules and Terminals

NB-IoT (also known as LTE Cat-NB1) is the name for a low-power wide area network (LPWAN) that can be deployed within an existing LTE band, in the guard band of LTE carriers, or in stand-alone mode, which provides an easy migration path for the reformed GSM (2G/GPRS) spectrum. Like all LPWAN technologies, it is designed to connect a high volume of M2M devices within the Internet of Things (IoT). It scales down to extreme simplicity for low-throughput, delay-tolerant applications, such as meters and sensors, and it provides very high indoor coverage. Core and test specifications for this technology are defined by 3GPP.

COMPRION has contributed actively towards NB-IoT USIM/USAT test specs at the relevant 3GPP working group CT6. Most of the NB-IoT test cases were initially drafted by COMPRION’s standardization experts.

NB-IoT Test Solutions validated by GCF and PTCRB

IoT terminals and modules that want to make use of this network technology require the certification by GCF and PTCRB. This implies that they pass the relevant tests according to release 13 and later:

  • 3GPP TS 31.121 for USIM
  • 3GPP TS 31.124 for USAT

The GCF/PTCRB-validated test platform is based on COMPRION SIMfony, the most popular conformance test platform for combined handset testing of the UICC interface in mobile devices. The version used for this purpose is COMPRION SIMfony CMW500 and listed at GCF and PTCRB as TP 150.

Minimize energy consumption with Power Saving Mode (PSM) and Extended Discontinuous Reception(eDRX)

3GPP requires the terminals that implement PSM or eDRX functionality to be thoroughly tested from Release 14 on. COMPRION took the lead with the creation of corresponding test cases. The validation of the COMPRION tests initiated the activation of the GCF work item WI-301-NB.  Thus, the tests have become part of the GCF certification program. And the North American counterpart PTCRB has also added the tests to their their certification program (RFT).

Test Solutions for LTE NB-IoT Testing

COMPRION SIMfony CMW500

COMPRION SIMfony CMW500

GCF/PTCRB Validated Test Platform

The most popular conformance test platform for combined handset testing of the UICC interface of mobile devices is covering all relevant tests for the certification of IoT modules designed according to the NB-IoT standard.

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COMPRION SIMfony Accesories

COMPRION SIMfony Accesories

Adaptors, cables, test SIMs, etc.

Helpful connectors to link the device under test with COMPRION test devices.

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COMPRION Test Case Packages

GCF Work Items (WI) PTCRB Request for Testing (RFT)
Covered USIM Test Specifications
3GPP TS 31.121 WI-266, WI-301-NB RFT 147
WI-160 (applicable according to Note 20 of Annex F.2 to GCF Certification Criteria) RFT 029
Covered USAT Test Specifications
3GPP TS 31.124 WI-266, WI-301-NB RFT 147
WI-035 (applicable according to Note 20 of Annex F.2 to GCF Certification Criteria) RFT 058

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