New facility will test and certify mobile and IoT equipment for next-generation networks
The 5G era is still in its infancy, but T-Mobile is laying the foundation for a new class of mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) devices with the opening of a new lab to test and certify hardware for the next generation of networking.
The Lowdown: The lab – located at T-Mobile’s Launch Pad innovation center in Bellevue, Washington – will test devices’ network compatibility, performance, and durability to ensure they meet the standards of T-Mobile’s 5G network and customer expectations. The intent of the lab is to ensure that new devices can perform and provide the full advantages of the 5G high-, mid-, and low-band spectrum.
The Details: Among the testing and certification performed by the 5G lab include a sub-6GHz 5G radio performance chamber for maximizing network utilization performance, 5G millimeter wave antenna range to ensure devices perform on the high-band spectrum, multi-band 5G SmartLab chambers for testing devices in different potential field scenarios, a software performance lab for simulating and testing applications, and hardware pressure testing to see how different devices perform in different environmental conditions.
The Impact: While 5G promises to unlock new, high-speed mobile and IoT device performance, the technology has limitations. Early experiences with 5G show that different levels of the spectrum do not produce the anticipated high speeds. Additionally, 5G doesn’t always have the range or ability to pass through dense obstructions, which limits device utility and functionality. The T-Mobile 5G lab will help mobile and IoT manufacturers and their partners understand the use cases and performance expectations of devices before they get to market.
Background: The T-Mobile 5G lab is launching in anticipation of T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint, which will extend the two company’s mobile network capacity and capability if finally approved by regulators. The deal recently cleared Department of Justice antitrust reviews and is headed to approval by the Federal Communications Commission. However, 14 states are opposing the deal through a federal lawsuit saying that it will decrease competition and increase mobile communication prices.
The Buzz: “5G will unlock so many new capabilities and opportunities for innovation. And with that comes new complexities in delivering the technology to customers,” said Neville Ray, CTO at T-Mobile. “We’ve evolved in this new era of wireless to deliver continuous innovation and the best 5G experience possible — from the network to the devices in their hands — which is why I’m so damn proud of this amazing team and cutting-edge lab.”