3GPP is a global cooperation of six independent standardization committees that define specifications for cellular standards. It forms the technical basis for a global marketplace with a large number of manufacturers. The Global Certification Forum (GCF) is responsible for ensuring adherence to test specifications and also for questions regarding practical implementation of tests. The interest group of about 140 cellular network operators, device manufacturers and test houses verifies test specifications for the European and Asian markets. It also groups and prioritizes the specifications based on the sequence in which new functions will be implemented in cellular networks. As a prerequisite for actively marketing devices, network operators require that device manufacturers prove the quality and performance of their products through testing. Validated test cases are performed by accredited test houses and must be passed by both chip- set and device manufacturers in order to obtain certification for their products. As a global provider of standard- compliant test systems, Rohde & Schwarz is involved in the definition of the 3GPP test specification and supports module and consumer device manufacturers by efficiently implementing the test cases in test systems.
Communications used for safety functions must function even more faultlessly than voice and data services between all vehicle classes – regardless of manufacturer, in every situation, and at all times. Automobile manufacturers must guarantee this, and the functionality cannot be based on the price class of an automobile. Proof of conformity with respect to cellular standards can be covered by existing cellular industry processes. However, there remains the question of how conformity will be ensured after successful integration into the vehicle. Any solutions must take into consideration the product lifecycle, which is many times longer than that of cellular devices.
5GAA – creating a common understanding
Tasks such as defining new test requirements or establishing the necessary consensus for interoperability were taken on by the 5G Automotive Association e.V. (5GAA). In 2016, 5GAA was founded by representatives of the automotive industry, chip industry and network equipment suppliers. Today, 5GAA has more than 60 international members, including many major network operators and automotive suppliers. The goal is to encourage the global development of solutions for autonomous and cooperative driving in the context of networked mobility. The developed solutions will be based on the results of a use case analysis, a technical (cellular) implementation, a study of a certification process, regulatory considerations and a study of the global market. Based on the global nature of this alliance and its member structure, it is conceivable that the developed studies and proposals will include previously raised questions with respect to assessing performance. 5GAA would be able to use these to define the necessary harmonizing approach and to make regulatory recommendations.