Advancement in technologies is driving the demand for data. Consumption of data has been quite interesting over the years with the transformation from voice (2G) to image (3G) to video (4G) and now, ultra-low latency, high bandwidth, and faster than ever speed (5G)-enabled applications. The fifth-generation technology promises to deliver more diversified services such as cloud applications, AR/VR applications, variety of use cases depending on the business requirement. Mobile operators are actively developing 5G using modern 5G Network Testing Equipment and tools & 5G Speed Tests Tools, state-of-the-art RF Drive test tools to build and monitor network. In this digital era, the number of mobile users is constantly increasing and so are the number of mobile network options to choose from. With customer behaviour – a variable, it is of paramount importance that the customer is served with the best network connectivity. To provide top-notch network Quality of Experience (QoE) to users, mobile network testing is imperative to assess the network performance – the quality of voice call, video streaming, etc.
Network components require to be tested
- Core and Radio Access Networks – Real-life scenarios are simulated in a test environment to perform testing of core and radio network performance.
- Backhaul Networks – Testing ethernet backhaul is also important while evaluating the network performance.
- Base Station Receivers – Create a replica of RF environments to assess MIMO (Multiple-Input-Multiple-Output), beamforming, etc.
Preparing the network to sustain in the real world
The modern-day network is highly congested with an unpredictable level of traffic moving to and fro due to thousands or a greater number of calls, messages from IoT devices sent every second. Mobile network operators take charge of this opportunity to prepare their network and recreate these real-world situations in the pre-production or lab environments and perform comprehensive 5G validation tests before launch. Here are the 5G services and related requirements to develop extensive network capabilities and enhance the way of living and working in the 5G era.
1. Voice call services
Whether it’s 5G/4G/3G/2G, operators place voice services at the top of the list of the basic requirements of cellular technology. 4G’s voice architecture will be used in 5G to provide IMS-based voice services. The voice service named in 4G technology is VoLTE developed over LTE radio access technology. In the 5G network, NR radio access technology is used leading to the name of voice service as Voice over NR (VoNR). IMS voice services have different access modes namely VoLTE for 4G and VoNR for 5G technologies.
2. Video services
Most of the mobile broadband (MBB) network traffic is coming from streaming videos that consume a lot more data compared to audio. Moreover, it depends on the video quality – SD video quality (480p video), HD video quality i.e., 0.9 GB (720p), 1.5 GB (1080p) and 3GB (2K) every hour.
Video buffering, downloading and playback are three important elements of complete video service and user experience can have an adverse effect due to delay in initial buffering, and frame freezing. Quality of a video is determined by the resolution and bit rate, i.e., the higher the resolution and bit rate, the better is the video quality. Now, to download such a high-resolution video requires a high download mobile network speed like 5G which can download an entire DVD in few seconds in the best-case scenario.
3. Gaming services
The evolution of mobile Internet and smartphones have led to the advancement of mobile games running on tablets and smartphones in the current world. As per Newzoo, it is expected that mobile games will cover 68.5 billion USD as the annual revenue by the end of this year where the YOY (Year-on-Year) growth rate will be 10.2%. 5G plays an indispensable role in building gaming applications with zero latency as delays will lead to crashing or freezing of games at any point in time. The basic requirement for a video game is to have an end-to-end delay under 100ms for ideal mobile game experiences.
The mobile network is progressing with the next invention of 5G technology and has unparalleled advantages from its predecessor. Having said that, 5G has the capability to deliver top-notch diverse kinds of Quality of Service (QoS) and improve Quality of Experience (QoE) provided to users. Multiple industry leaders looking to become more agile, efficient, and data-driven are turning to 5G enabled solutions for voice, video, and other applications. With low-latency, increased capacity, and high bandwidth, 5G is poised to revolutionise the way organisations operate. MNOs understand such importance of 5G and are evaluating 5G networks by using various mobile network testing methods to give better QoE to users as per their requirements.