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Cellular Testing / 5G Testing

From legacy technologies to 5G

Cellular technologies have been an integral part of wireless technologies for many years and are still frequently used in a wide range of industries and products.

Depending on the field of application, the 2G/3G/4G technologies, which have been established for years, are also used. Currently, the latest generation of cellular technologies – 5G – is also on the advance.

In our cellular testing, we test mobile devices according to this latest and all other standards that are used today.

The advantages of 5G technology

5G offers various advantages in use compared to previous generations:

  • 5G for ultra-fast mobile broadband
    5G offers data rates in the range up to 10 Gigabit per second
  • 5G for communication between machines (M2M)
    A large-area network for the processing of small amounts of data with simultaneous large spatial distribution
  • 5G as high reliability network
    Short latency of only one millisecond in the 5G network


5G technology also promises much greater efficiency in the use of the relevant frequencies:

  • Carrier aggregation
    Channel aggregation (carrier aggregation) provides the necessary high bandwidth at 5G
  • Small cells
    Small Cells complement the classic mobile phone antennas and ensure a densification of the network at locations with particularly high demand.
  • Massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO)
    These multi-antenna systems allow the use of several simultaneous transmit and receive antennas for wireless communication.
  • Beamforming
    Another advantage of 5G technology is the targeted supply of individual devices. In this context, the direction of antenna transmission is adjusted so that a maximum signal or maximum bandwidth can be received at the desired terminal.
  • Virtual divided network through networkslicing
    This property allows the division of a network for different needs – e.g. data rate or latency.


Our experts in cellular testing take these special properties of 5G into account when testing your devices.

Test and certification requirements for products with 5G technology

As for all products with radio technologies, products with cellular technology also require regulatory approval for the respective countries. Compared to other wireless technologies such as Bluetooth and WLAN, devices with cellular technology must also meet the requirements of the network operators.

The new 5G technology in particular therefore presents manufacturers with new challenges with regard to the test requirements for their devices.

Cellular Testing according to the specifications of network operators

In January 2020, CETECOM became the first laboratory in Europe to be accredited to carry out line-based tests. The underlying standards – defined by ETSI and 3GPP, among others – are mainly used for network operator approvals (GCF and PTCRB certifications), which are necessary when using cellular technology.

We can therefore carry out the tests for the network operator approvals in our laboratories and are accredited for the following standards:

  • 5GS; User Equipment (UE) conformance specification; Part 1: Common test environment
    • 3GPP TS 38.508-1 V16.1.1 (2019-10)
    • ETSI TS 138 508-1 V15.4.0 (2019-07)
  • 5GS; User Equipment (UE) conformance specification; Part 2: Common Implementation Conformance Statement (ICS) proforma
    • 3GPP TS 38.508-2 V16.1.0 (2019-10)
    • ETSI TS 138 508-2 V15.4.0 (2019-07)
  • 5GS; Special conformance testing functions for User Equipment (UE)
    • 3GPP TS 38.509 V15.5.0 (2019-09)
    • ETSI TS 138 509 V15.4.0 (2019-07)
  • NR; User Equipment (UE) conformance specification; Radio transmission and reception; Part 1: Range 1 Standalone
    • 3GPP TS 38.521-1 V16.1.1 (2019-10)
    • ETSI TS 138 521-1 V15.3.0 (2019-07)
  • NR; User Equipment (UE) conformance specification; Radio transmission and reception; Part 2: Range 2 Standalone
    • 3GPP TS 38.521-2 V16.1.0 (2019-09)
    • ETSI TS 138 521-2 V15.3.0 (2019-07)
  • NR; User Equipment (UE) conformance specification; Radio transmission and reception; Part 3: Range 1 and Range 2 Interworking operation with other radios
    • 3GPP TS 38.521-3 V16.1.0 (2019-09)
    • ETSI TS 138 521-3 V15.3.0 (2019-07)
  • NR; User Equipment (UE) conformance specification; Radio transmission and reception; Part 4: Performance requirements
    • 3GPP TS 38.521-4 V16.1.0 (2019-09)
    • ETSI TS 138 521-4 V15.1.0 (2019-07)
  • NR; User Equipment (UE) conformance specification; Applicability of radio transmission, radio reception and radio resource management test cases
    • 3GPP TS 38.522 V16.1.1 (2019-10)
    • ETSI TS 138 522 V15.3.0 (2019-07)
  • 5GS; User Equipment (UE) conformance specification; Part 1: Protocol
    • 3GPP TS 38.523-1 V16.1.0 (2019-09)
    • ETSI TS 138 523-1 V15.4.0 (2019-07)
  • 5GS; User Equipment (UE) conformance specification; Part 2: Applicability of protocol test cases
    • 3GPP TS 38.523-2 V16.1.0 (2019-09)
    • ETSI TS 138 523-2 V15.4.0 (2019-07)
  • 5GS; User Equipment (UE) conformance specification; Part 3: Protocol Test Suites
    • 3GPP TS 38.523-3 V15.5.0 (2019-09)
    • ETSI TS 138 523-3 V15.5.0 (2019-10)
  • NR; User Equipment (UE) conformance specification; Radio Resource Management (RRM)
    • 3GPP TS 38.533 V16.1.0 (2019-09)
    • ETSI TS 138 533 V15.1.0 (2019-07)

These test specifications form the basis for the necessary network operator approvals, which are bundled in the GCF certification for the European area and in the PTCRB certification for the US American area.

Regulatory testing for 5G products

The situation with regard to the requirements for regulatory tests for devices with 5G technology is such that the necessary standards for 5G have not yet been finally harmonized. This of course results in challenges for manufacturers for the regulatory approval of their products, since the framework of the specifications is not finally defined.

We therefore support our customers with 5G tests during the development process to prepare their products ideally for market approval. These tests for the frequency ranges “sub6” FR1 and “mmWave” FR2 refer to the test disciplines

Testing and certification services
for products using 2G/3G/4G technology

In contrast to 5G technology, the cellular technologies 2G/3G/4G available to date have all the specifications – regulatory and the specifications of the network operators – defined in detail. Comprehensive cellular testing, which incorporates our experience of more than 25 years, enables you an efficient and fast approval of your products with cellular technology.

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