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Testing IoT Devices

Testing IoT Devices
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The Importance of Reliable IoT Device Connections

Reasons for Unreliable IoT Device ConnectionsHave you ever experienced unreliable or inconsistent internet connection when using IoT devices, or had your IoT applications not working consistently? The possible causes of these problems could have likely been solved at the design and manufacturing process, before the commercial release, by confirming the wireless connection performance under the actual use condition.

IoT devices connect to the network by communicating via other devices (node, access points such as routers, and then to base stations). Various factors in the field can make wireless communications unstable, which causes IoT devices to retransmit data frequently to try to maintain connection. If re-transmission frequency exceeds a certain level, the connection may be difficult to establish or maintain, and the expected communication speed may not be achieved. Consequently, the IoT device power consumption may increase and reduce battery life. In other words, even when a wireless connection is confirmed at the access point (AP), there is still a real possibility of hidden communications problems following product design and manufacture. If these hidden problems are allowed to continue, communications issues may continue to occur more frequently, depending on how the product is used by the end user under the actual environment.

Communications Quality

What Is the “Wireless Communications Quality” of IoT Devices?

Implementing wireless communications functionality in IoT devices requires developers to have wireless technology knowledge and experience. However, since that requires a lot of time, one of the easiest ways to solve this challenge is to use the wireless modules already in the marketplace to integrate into IoT products. Wireless modules in the marketplace are designed to support wireless features and the module suppliers guarantee their products’ conformance to wireless standards and regulations. However, the communications quality of the wireless modules and the actual finished IoT devices in which these modules are installed is not always equal. This can be caused by a variety of factors, such as RF attenuation in actual environment, presence of other wireless devices, RF reflections and interference inside the device.

Communications Quality

In other words, the “wireless communications quality” of IoT devices means the quality in the actual usage environment.

Communications Quality

Details: Assuring IoT Device Communications Quality >

Please also check on the additional resources from the menu for the further information.

How to Assure “Wireless Communications Quality” of IoT Devices?

Following are some of the common challenges and considerations in assuring wireless communications quality.

Use Case Challenges

Home Electronics & Appliances

Smart Home Electrical Goods

What to consider when integrating wireless functionality into home electronics and appliances?
More and more appliances, previously without communication capabilities, such as refrigerators, garage doors, and vacuum cleaners, are now designed with wireless connectivity functions. This brings new challenges to device designers in order to assure the product quality.
Details: Assuring IoT Device Communications Quality >
Have we cleared the legal requirements?
It is mandatory to conform with the local legal restrictions and regulations.
Details: Laws and standards to be followed by IoT devices >
Have we considered the product usage environment?
Details: Assuring IoT Device Communications Quality >

Customer Scenario

RF Components, such as Antennas and Power Amplifiers

RF Components, such as Antennas and Power Amplifiers

What is expected of the RF components in actual 5G use cases?
RF components are one of the key aspects in determining the features of IoT devices. In order to enhance the wireless technology and the complicated wireless functionality, the verification at the RF components level, rather than at the finished product level, is no longer sufficient to ensure IoT device quality.

Customer Scenario

CPE/FWA Devices

CPE/FWA (Customer Premises Equipment/Fixed Wireless Access) Devices

Why do we need to verify the product performance after embedding the modules and antennas?
Wireless technology is complex, which is why it is necessary to confirm the performance of the finished products, as it might not satisfy the communication standards and regulations even if a wireless communications module itself does. As key factors for CPE/FWA devices, confirming the peak throughput performance and thermal status is very important.

Customer Scenario

Construction and Agricultural Equipment

Remote Control of Construction and Agricultural Equipment

Is the outdoor connectivity verified?
IoT also supports the ability to remotely control equipment or collecting real-time data. But IoT device vendors need to consider that their devices always have the possibility of increased performance quality risks in outdoor environments due to the presence of various types of RF signals. These RF signals may include signals that interfere with communication, which is why it is necessary to consider the suitable wireless communications performance for actual usage while still in the lab.
Is the delay in response time within the acceptable range?
Remote control sometimes requires fast response time to guarantee accurate and sometimes critical operations. The delay of data packet transmission may create an unduly stressful work environment which may increase the risk of accidents.

Smart Factories

Smart Factories

Is the connectivity with production equipment verified?
Smart factories, one of the hot topics in “Industry 5.0”, require simultaneous and massive connections to many pieces of production machinery, sensors, and various types of equipment and devices for gathering real-time data. For example, when using wireless LAN, the increased simultaneous access may deteriorate the ease of connection due to external noise and large packets being retransmitted at signal. This raises the necessity to consider the most appropriate wireless communications standard for the actual site.

VR/AR/MR Goggles, using Large Data Traffic in Real Time

Products, such as VR/AR/MR Goggles, using Large Data Traffic in Real Time

Is the throughput sufficient?
XR technology can improve performance in several use-case, such as entertainment and remote assist. XR products need to provide stable connection with high-definition, high-frame rate video transmission to deliver the improved performance. If an XR product’s communications quality deteriorates on occasion, the end user may not receive the expected entertainment quality, causing disappointment with the product and possible loss of future sales for the company.
Have we verified the connection stability?
For the VR devices, sudden movements can increase latency, so it is necessary to confirm whether the connection remains stable.

Customer Scenario

Smart Meters and Power Grids

Smart Meters and Power Grids

Have we secured low power consumption?
Low power consumption is best for products with low data traffic and infrequent communications. Confirming the actual power consumption under the real use conditions is also recommended to ensure quality by keeping the battery life longer. The IoT device vendors select the suitable wireless technology and take care to design their products with the low power consumption needs in mind. That’s why most IoT products are designed to realize minimized data transmission period. If an IoT product has some issues and starts to frequently retransmit data, this may become critical a issue that shortens battery life.

Please also check on the additional resources from the menu for the further information.

Standards-related Challenges

It is important to select the appropriate standards by understanding and evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of each standard. This will help avoid unexpected and costly challenges related to equipment and services.

Standards

Manufacturing Stage Challenges (Planning, Design and Development, Production, Inspection)

Planning

Planning

Choose the appropriate communications standard based on the knowledge of the usage environment and take the necessary measures to comply with the legal requirements.
Investigate the RF related legislation for the equipment usage location and the communications standard you selected, and be sure to obtain the necessary permissions and licenses.
Details: Laws and standards to be followed by IoT devices >

Design and Development

Design and Development

Perform the design and evaluation to achieve the required performance with the wireless module installed in the device at usage under actual conditions.
When positioning the wireless module in the device, be sure to adequately consider the influence of noise distribution as well as radio interference caused by electromagnetic waves.
Details: Wireless LAN Product Evaluation Guide~Product Design and Development Volume~ >

Production and Inspection

Production and Inspection

Evaluate the measurement items and contents on the production line, taking into consideration the actual usage environment.
Be sure to evaluate the finished products to confirm the delivery of the intended communications functionality and connectivity.
Details: Wireless LAN Product Evaluation Guide ~After Commercial Release~ >

More IoT Resources

Broadband Communications and 5GTechnologies for the Post COVID-19 Pandemic Era
Broadband Communications and 5G Technologies for the Post COVID-19 Pandemic Era

This white paper introduces the current market trend for rolling out the fixed 5G wireless communications services.

Click Here to Download
Poster Key Technical Aspects of 5G-NR
Poster
Key Technical Aspects of 5G-NR

With the current worldwide 5G rollout, this poster outlines the key aspects and the latest trends of 5G technology.

Click Here to Download
Video 5G Video Quality Test
Video
5G Video Quality Test

This short video introduces the 5G video quality test solution, developed by Anritsu in partnership with Spirent Communications.

WATCH VIDEO
Poster Key Technology and Physical layer Test Specifications for IoT
Poster
Key Technology and Physical layer Test Specifications for IoT

IoT is expected to support a wide range of applications. This poster lists the key technologies and RF measurements for each standard supporting IoT use cases.

Click Here to Download
White paper
What are common RF test methods for IoT?

This white paper covers several mission-critical IoT applications. Finally, next-generation test solutions are presented along with the “hidden” bottom-line benefits that specific test equipment can provide.

Click Here to Download
White paper
What are the required wireless evaluations for IoT devices?

This white paper introduces the IoT applications not covered by the conventional framework, the general wireless evaluation methods, and testing challenges and solutions for IoT devices.

Click Here to Download

Please also check on the additional resources from the menu for the further information.

Anritsu IoT Device Measurement Solutions

5G IoT

This low-cost entry model is designed for performing basic evaluation of RF characteristics. It is ideal for evaluating the stability of wireless connections for IoT devices.

Radio Communication Test Station MT8000A >

Introduction of Radio Communication Test Station MT8000A 5G Entry Model (PDF) >

Learn more about 5G Single Box Solution (PDF) >
MT8000A 5G Entry Model

Supports RF and protocol tests of products using the FR1 (~7.125 GHz) to FR2 (mmWave) bands
Radio Communication Test Station MT8000A >

Performs TRx tests at high speed for large-lot mass-production lines with support for various wireless communications standards by selecting installed plug-in units
Universal Wireless Test Set MT8870A >

Conformance test system supporting 3GPP compliance tests
New Radio RF Conformance Test System ME7873NR >

LTE, LTE Cat-M1, NB-IoT

Verifies RF TRx characteristics for development of products with LTE, LTE Cat-M1, NB-IoT R&D into mobile devices, with its easy-to-use measurement functions.

Radio Communication Analyzer MT8821C >
4G MT8821C/MD8475B

Wireless LAN (Wi-Fi)

Verifies RF TRx characteristics for the development of wireless LAN products, including support for the 6-GHz band products

Wireless Connectivity Test Set (for WLAN measurement) MT8862A >

WLAN (WiFi6E) MT8862A

Performs TRx tests at high speed for mass-production lines with support for various wireless communications standards by selecting installed plug-in units

Universal Wireless Test Set MT8870A >
MT8870A

Related Pages
Wi-Fi 7 / Wi-Fi 6E >

Advantages and challenges of 6-GHz band

Bluetooth®

Supports RF tests of Bluetooth® modules and devices with a wide applications range from R&D to manufacturing test.

Bluetooth Test Set MT8852B >
Bluetooth Test Set MT8852B

Related Pages
Bluetooth® v5.1 Test Solution >

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