Viavi Solutions said this week that it is collaborating with the China Mobile Research Institute on network slicing support for a 5G launch by the end of 2019, following “strategic meetings on 5G planning” in January between Madam Yang Zhiqiang, deputy general manager of CMRI, Viavi’s President and CEO Oleg Khaykin and Tom Fawcett, Viavi’s VP and GM of its lab and production business unit.

CMRI is China Mobile’s technical research and standardization arm, and its work includes testing protocols for the carrier. Viavi is a preferred vendor of China Mobile and will be providing both hardware and software for China Mobile and equipment manufacturers to develop a Slicing Packet Network with FlexE interface, which is the technology that China Mobile favors for 5G transport and has asked the International Telecommunications Union to standardize. 

“In order to realize China Mobile’s vision of introducing 5G service by the end of 2019, principal technologies including [Slicing Packet Network] for transport must be standardized by the ITU-T,” said Khaykin in a statement. “We have advanced our test technology to meet this objective, and our solutions are ready to support the China Mobile ecosystem of partners to deliver interoperable network infrastructure.”

Image: Viavi Solutions

Meanwhile, Keysight Technologies has officially joined China’s IMT-20202 Promotion Group (or 5G Promotion Group), the regional organization created in 2013 to focus China’s 5G efforts and technical trials. Keysight is the only international test and measurement company that has been recognized as a formal member of the 5G Promotion Group; the company has been active in supporting 5G testing in China for several years now, having made formal 5G testing relationships with groups such as China Mobile Research Institute early on.

The 5G Promotion Group will be part of the 5G New Horizons Wireless Symposium with participants from 5G groups around the world; the event will be co-located with the 5G North America in Austin, Tex. in May.

In other test news:

Anritsu announced that its 5G testing platform will support Qualcomm Technologies’ 5G chipset development, then promptly followed up on that news with a successful demonstration of 2 Gbps download speeds achieved  with a mobile test device outfitted with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X24 LTE modem, via simulation of five component-carrier carrier aggregation, 4×4 multiple-input-multiple-output, and 256 QAM modulation (on all carriers). Anritsu said it will showcase the demo — which involved a multi-box set-up to simulate three contiguous LTE baseband cells on a single radio frequency carrier — in its booth at Mobile World Congress. 

Viavi Solutions launched a new performance monitoring-as-a-service aimed at enterprises transitioning to the cloud, based on its Observer portfolio in network monitoring and diagnostics. ObserverLive is cloud-enabled and subscription-based, and also leverages the “virtual agents” that Viavi introduced in its Nitro real-time intelligence platform for service provider networks, to validate the performance of business applications.

Keysight Technologies received certification of its E6951A public safety answering point (PSAP) emulator from NavCert GmbH. As of April 1, all new vehicles in the European Union must provide eCall connectivity to alert authorities in the event of a crash, and the PSAP emulation is part of Keysight’s eCall testing solution.

-Test equipment rental company Electro Rent is opening a new inventory and service center in New Jersey on Feb. 21 to serve customers in that state as well as Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania.

Averna has a new platform for wideband radio frequency recording and playback of RF signals, with support for capturing and playing back up to 500 megahertz of spectrum between 9 kHz to 6 GHz. The RP-6500 can capture a variety of signals, but the company emphasized its capabilities for testing Global Navigation Satellite System signals.

-The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab has expanded its Wi-Fi testing capabilities, buying equipment from Octoscope and setting up a webinar on March 6 to discuss its new testing services.

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