An instrument from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering is now testing 5G networks thanks to cooperation with CETIN

Demands for data connectivity, especially for wireless connectivity anytime, anywhere, are constantly increasing. Data communication parameters must be tested and measured. This can be done using a device called F-Tester® developed at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering (FEL), which can now also measure 5G networks.

Based on practical requirements, the F-Tester 4drive-box variant was developed in 2020. It tests multiple operators at the same time and is suitable for installation in a vehicle that can measure the coverage of a territory and the quality of data transmission quickly and efficiently while driving (drive-tests). During 2021, it will add the ability to measure emerging 5G networks and a range of enhancements to increase stability in dynamic mobile environments. The F-Tester, a measurement device for verifying data connectivity, is currently used by the Czech Telecommunications Office (CTO) and, more recently, by the telecommunications company CETIN, which operates a network covering the majority of the population in the Czech Republic. CETIN, like CTO, uses F-Tester to validate the coverage of mobile data services in the Czech Republic. Objective measurement and evaluation of coverage helps motivate operators to ensure and improve the quality of mobile internet services in the Czech Republic. In addition, CETIN uses F-Tester to tune the network core, setting up traffic flow control for optimisation in different types of traffic (e.g. web browsing, audio and video content playback) to achieve a good user experience and efficient network utilisation.

“The F-Tester device is developed and assembled at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering. We can emulate many things on LTE and 5G in the faculty's 5G/6G lab, but not how a specific technology from a specific manufacturer behaves with a specific setup. Therefore, we took advantage of the possibilities offered by CETIN´s unique laboratory in the Czech Republic. As with many others, also this case shows that cooperation with industrial partners is essential in development. The experience with the deployment of our solution in demanding practical conditions also motivates us to develop it into a user-friendly and reliable commercial product,” praises the cooperation doc. Jiří Vodrážka, Head of the Department of Telecommunication Engineering at FEL CTU in Prague.
“Thanks to the state-of-the-art equipment in our lab, we are able to simulate a variety of operating conditions, including 5G deployments, new features we are exploring in the lab, and so on. Therefore, it is possible to test the device even in very specific conditions - we can verify that the F-Tester results change exactly as different network parameters change. We can also test innovations that are just being introduced but are not yet available in real operation,” summarises Milan Barvíř, RAN Development and Measurement Specialist at CETIN, on the benefits of the cooperation.

F-Tester® and its logo is a protected trademark of CTU in Prague. More information can be found here.