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NIST Cites 5G Testbed Efforts to Support Industry Tech Dev’t

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology has identified resources of 5G technology assessments to help inform the development of commercial technologies encompassing cellphones, internet-of-things networks, “smart” manufacturing platforms and autonomous vehicles.

NIST said Wednesday it is developing methods for evaluating the capacity of antenna systems to handle 5G connectivity. The agency also established a broadband interoperability testbed that houses a standalone information technology network, commercial base stations and other facilities to support older capabilities like 4G and wifi.

NIST also identified datasets and models created by the 5G mmWave Channel Model Alliance, which is currently developing testing methods and tools to accurately measure 5G capacity for everyday use cases.

The alliance has so far established best practices for instrumentation use and developed models for 5G communication scenarios encompassing offices, outdoor areas and shopping malls.

“Until recently, few models or measurements have existed at frequencies where 5G systems will operate,” said Kate Remley, an NIST engineer and co-chair of the alliance. “Having a number of representative channel models allows system designers to develop electronics that will operate reliably in common environments.”

NIST’s announcement comes after the Department of Defense issued its final request for prototype proposals for 5G testbed experiments including studies on spectrum sharing at military installations.