Test and Measurement: Sony field-tests mobile next-generation broadcasting to vehicles

Sony this week detailed the results of field testing of ATSC 3.0 broadcasting to vehicles. ATSC 3.0, or NextGen TV, allows broadcasters to send both audio/video and IP data, enabling personalization and interactive content. The technology has garnered support from the FCC and interest from players including Sinclair Group and SK Telecom, who formed a U.S.-based joint venture to explore ATSC 3.0.

The drive testing was conducted using equipment with Sony’s ATSC 3.0 chip in Phoenix, Arizona and Santa Barbara, California; Sony worked with local broadcasters and specifically wanted to examine the technology’s capability for providing connections to moving vehicles. According to a white paper detailing the testing (pdf), ATSC 3.0 “can provide robust reception of data at all vehicular speeds.” The testing used video/audio media, but also tested a picture file being sent. The field test “shows that broadcasters can transmit both high throughput stationary services as well as robust automotive services simultaneously to target a diverse set of receiving devices. Delivery of data of any kind (infotainment, software updates, navigation maps, etc.) is robust and reliable,” the paper concluded.

“For the field testing areas selected, there are some rolling hills, rural canyons and light urban canyon terrain causing echo delays,” said Mike Nejat, VP of Engineering at Sony Home Entertainment and Solutions of America, in a comment on the testing. “We wanted to find out if ATSC 3.0 can support multiple services, show an example configuration for automotive service, test the configuration with separate solutions in a variety of markets, terrains, and driving conditions, and test the simultaneous delivery of files not related to television entertainment to see how this transmission and reception system might appeal to new customers like automakers and fleet operators.”

In other test news:

GWS evaluated the three major carriers’ networks at the Super Bowl and found that 5G capabilities significantly improved from last year’s big game — and that carriers are using up to eight component-carrier carrier aggregation to achieve new levels of speed. Read the full story here. GWS also this week delved into whether smartphone usage data might be helpful in predicting elections; read that story here.

Keysight Technologies had a busy week, announcing that Xilinx is using its Open RAN test solutions for massive MIMO radio reference designs and that it worked with Transphorm on a new power supply reference design for virtual prototyping. It also took the opportunity of the recent Global Certification Forum Conformance Agreement Group meeting in late January to highlight its support for GCF-mandated 5G New Radio radio frequency and protocol conformance test cases; Keysight says that those test cases, through its emulation platform, are being used by 108 vendors to validate twenty different 5G device form factors.

Keysight also touted the addition of a computer vision service to its Eggplant Digital Automation Intelligence platform, saying that it enables Eggplant to “[recognize]visual information and [respond]to changes with millisecond accuracy, simulating and testing the actual experience” as part of high-speed iOS application testing for use cases such as gaming, financial transactions, medical apps or autonomous vehicles that require fast reactions. Keysight said the capability will be rolled out to other OS platforms in the future.

Anritsu said this week that the GCF’s certification agreement group has approved Voice over New Radio protocol conformance tests on the test company’s 5G NR Mobile Device Test Platform ME7834NR.  Anritsu said that the conformance tests have also been submitted to the PTCRB validation group for approval in an upcoming meeting.

Spirent Communications has issued its annual report evaluating the status of 5G globally; RCR Wireless News spoke with Steve Douglas, Spirent’s head of 5G strategy, about highlights from the report. Read that story here.

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