NI and Spirent Communications Collaborate on 5G Performance Test Solution

NI (Nasdaq: NATI), the provider of a software-defined platform that
helps accelerate the development and performance of automated test and
automated measurement systems, and Spirent Communications plc (LSE: SPT)
today announced their collaboration to develop test systems for 5G New
Radio (NR) devices. The collaboration will allow 5G chipset and device
manufacturers to validate the performance of 5G NR smartphones and IoT
devices in the lab without requiring access to expensive and complex 5G
base stations (gNodeBs).

Recently the 5G standards body, 3GPP, officially approved the first
round of 5G specifications in June 2018. This important step will be
followed by the specification of new architectural options and
additional capabilities as the standard is expanded over the coming
months and years. Consequently, device test solutions must be flexible
to quickly adapt to these changes and to allow future upgrades while
avoiding costly hardware changes as the standards evolve.

To that end, Spirent Communications, a recognized leader in ensuring the
performance of devices and network services, has adopted NI’s flexible
software defined radio (SDR) products in the development of its 5G
performance solution. Spirent’s solution will employ NI’s USRP
(Universal Software Radio Peripheral) devices and mmWave Transceiver
System and will include 5G NR test scenarios for mobile location, video,
data, audio, and calling performance. Key architectural details of the
solution include the use of LabVIEW FPGA to emulate layer 1 through
layer 3 of the 5G NR protocol stack.

“Building on the strength of NI’s early success in 5G research and
prototyping, combined with the modularity of its platform, accelerates
initial interoperability and means our customers can feel confident that
the platform can adapt to the evolving standards,” said Rob VanBrunt,
general manager of Spirent’s Connected Devices business unit. “5G test
engineers already recognize NI’s off-the-shelf platform as the
industry’s most flexible and powerful hardware available. Integrating
their advanced signal processing capabilities into our 8100 platform
enables an attractive upgrade path for our existing customers.”

The new 5G performance test solution will include support for both sub-6
GHz and millimeter-wave radio bands and will integrate seamlessly into
Spirent’s existing network emulation platform. The system will also
feature up to 2 GHz of bandwidth.

“The marriage of our high-performance platform and Spirent’s
best-in-class test methodology for measuring the mobile user experience
is exciting for the industry,” said James Kimery, director of wireless
research at NI. “Being able to assess the accuracy of cellular location
in 5G environments and measuring the performance of video and data
delivery are critical needs as 5G devices come on line starting in 2019.”

For more information on how NI is collaborating with industry and
academia to define and deploy 5G, visit
To learn more about Spirent’s 5G solutions visit

About Spirent

Spirent Communications plc (LSE: SPT) is the leading provider of
verification, assessment, analytics, and device intelligence solutions.
We enable those who deliver networks, connected devices, and
communication services to provide a superior user experience. From
service provider networks and enterprise data centers to mobile
communications and connected vehicles, Spirent works with leading
innovators to help the world communicate and collaborate faster, better
and more securely.

For more information visit

About NI

NI (
empowers engineers and scientists with a software-defined platform that
incorporates modular hardware and an expansive ecosystem. This proven
approach puts users firmly in control of defining what they need to
accelerate their system design within test, measurement and control.
NI’s solution helps build high-performance systems that exceed
requirements, quickly adapt to change and ultimately improve the world.

LabVIEW, National Instruments, NI, and USRP are trademarks of
National Instruments. Other product and company names listed are
trademarks or trade names of their respective companies.

View source version on

Leave a Comment