How are you addressing the multifaceted test equipment design needs due to the increase in M2M communications?
Joerg Koepp, Head of the Market Segment M2M, Rohde & Schwarz
M2M communications, as enabler of the Internet of Things (IoT), offers a lot of new opportunities for applications of wireless technologies in various industry sectors. Consequently, many of the IoT players will have to integrate wireless technologies in their products for the first time as they will have to ensure the proper function of the wireless module within their products.
Rohde & Schwarz supports these players by providing the wireless test instrumentation that supports all major wireless technologies such as GSM, HSPA, LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, etc. We observe that quite diverse application requirements result in a large variety of applicable radio technologies, network architectures, communication protocols, platforms and frame works. For us, this situation creates new business opportunities, of course, but we also have to assess what will prevail in the market and remain attractive for our customers in the long run.
Therefore, Rohde & Schwarz is continuously analyzing the market and technology trends, such as Machine Type Communication in 3GPP, in order to deliver our global customers the appropriate T&M solutions. Another aspect is that communications increasingly plays a role in life-critical, mission-critical, and business-critical applications – prominent examples are car-to-x communications, or automatic vehicle emergency calls. These types of applications may require specific test solutions for all phases, from development, to production, and service in order to ensure correct operation.
Therefore we are collaborating closely with the respective industry players to develop test methods and to simulate realistic environments to ensure that these devices work reliably under all circumstances. Overall, we believe that the M2M market is still evolving, but it will really take off over the next five to ten years. Rohde & Schwarz is committed to support all customers to be successful with their products and solutions in the M2M market place.
Richard Jacklin, Business Development Director, Anite
The wireless mobile industry faces a number of key challenges in designing, testing and qualifying M2M devices.
Firstly, evolving technology standards. The challenge is to optimally apply the appropriate evolution of wireless connection standards. From new cellular standards such as LTE category “0” (low data rate), through to the latest iterations of local wireless technology in Bluetooth, ZigBee etc.
Secondly, M2M performance requirements are exceptionally high. In connection reliability for mission-critical M2M (e.g. carrier grade 99.999% uptime), in improved radio link performance and to significantly extend battery life for remote M2M applications.
And finally, the very broad range of service user and vertical industry type. These include transport and automotive, retail, health, utilities and security. Many of whom are not familiar with the design and testing needs of wireless communications.
In order to meet these testing challenges, Anite is focused on three main areas:
- M2M interoperability testing
- M2M radio performance testing and
- M2M test solution usability
In order to be able to offer the very latest interoperability and protocol test solutions optimised for cellular M2M Anite works closely with, and contributes to, standards organizations like 3GPP. Similarly, Anite works in partnership with service providers who take an active interest in M2M device qualification to transform M2M module test requirements into usable and practical test cases.
Successful wireless M2M is dependent on a high performing radio link; standards are driving developments towards more sensitive radio receivers, lower transmit power, overall improved link budget and extended battery life. Ensuring that M2M products are tested in all types of radio conditions, through the application of a Channel Emulator is essential, as is selecting a radio performance test solution that can work with a broad range of wireless connection technology; cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth etc.
By creating test solutions that are intuitive, easy to use and apply the latest graphical user interface techniques, test engineers from the broad and traditionally non-wireless community of M2M will be able to adopt and execute the often complex wireless qualification plans more simply and quickly.
Kurt Williams, Sr. Business Development Manager, Anritsu Company
Currently, there are over 80 IEEE groups focused on the Internet of Things (IoT). In addition, there are dozens of IoT alliance groups attempting to bring market-wide interoperability and lay a foundation that can scale IoT from vision to reality. A few examples are AllSeen Alliance, Open Interconnect Consortium, IPSO Alliance, Internet of Things Consortium, and Thread Group.
It is difficult to put a finger on where the M2M and IoT market will be with respect to wireless communications and software in the next five to ten years. One thing is certain, however: it will include a combination of several wireless technologies, including cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ZigBee as well as new, less known standards. This requires that test equipment be flexible and adaptable to the changing requirements of this market.
Anritsu Company is focused on providing wideband, software-upgradable test solutions that can keep pace with our customers’ fluid requirements. For example, the MT8870A Universal Wireless Test set has 160 MHz of bandwidth and covers frequencies from 10 MHz to 6 GHz. This range encompasses everything from NFC to 802.11ac wave2 in terms of frequency and bandwidth coverage. New standards such as 802.11p for automotive or 802.11ah for M2M / IoT applications can be added with a software update, protecting our customers’ investments.
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)