In the world of IoT communications, reliability and stability are key aspects for a successful service. When we at Tele2 IoT launch a new product, we therefore make sure to test it thoroughly before releasing it to the market. Different services offer different challenges in their test cycle, but common for all of them is that we want to be able to simulate real world behavior in a controllable environment. That happens in the Tele2 Radio Test Lab – and it’s what we’ve done with NB-IoT as we prepare it for release.
NB-IoT is an LPWA technology that brings additional value to our connectivity portfolio in terms of power saving features along with extended coverage functionality. To be able to test the NB-IoT service and to optimize the network settings, we have spent quite some time in our internal test lab. The test lab consists of Faraday cages, which shield the test environment from any electromagnetic fields or radio interference coming from the outside world. Within this environment we can simulate and consistently reproduce test cases that would have been difficult to properly evaluate and isolate in the live network.
In addition to verifying the power saving features of PSM (Power Saving Mode) and eDRX (Extended Discontinuous Reception) that are an important part of the LPWA technologies, we also measure throughput and latency for different coverage enhancement (CE) levels. CE is a main feature for NB-IoT that through repetitions on the radio interface improves the coverage for devices residing underground or in areas where other unfavorable conditions apply.