The 5G rollout – currently with 5G New Radio (5G NR) non-standalone (NSA) as specified in 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Release 15 and subsequently with future versions that will utilize standalone (SA) technologies – is changing the way mobile networks are designed, deployed, operated, and maintained. To achieve low latency, high speeds, and large capacity that will significantly improve existing wireless applications while creating new ones, networks must evolve.
Among the issues that mobile operators, as well as system developers, need to consider are:
- Complex technologies (i.e. millimeter-wave [mmWave], passive optical networks [PON], adaptive antenna systems [AAS], network slicing, network timing and synchronization)
- Infrastructure enhancements, particularly fiber technologies
- Significantly denser networks, due in large part to small cells
- Multiple Radio Access Network (RAN) technologies
A new generation of test instruments are necessary to meet these changes, especially when it comes to RAN. Using the proper solutions during deployment, installation and maintenance of new networks will ensure key performance indicators (KPIs) are met from the Metro edge to the end-user.