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May 17, 2022

Started the world's first verification of radio space reproduction technology that integrates optical and radio propagations
Will contribute to accelerating new radio communication systems by accurately reproducing various usage scenarios

Tokyo - May 17, 2022 - NTT Corporation (TYO: 9432), today, has announced that it has started the world's first verification of the radio space reproduction technology that integrates optical and radio propagations. As the diversifications of both radio communication devices and usage scenarios will continue to progress in the future, new radio system development requires much verification time. The application of the proposed technology will contribute to the efficient verification of radio technologies by reproducing the radio space corresponding to the usage scenarios with high accuracy in the verification environment.

1. Background

In addition to current smartphones, a wide variety of radio communication devices such as IoT (Internet of Things) devices are becoming more widespread. Furthermore, the communication quality (large capacity, low latency, high reliability, etc.) and usage scenarios required for radio communication systems will be more diverse than ever. The key to the realization of future radio communication systems will be acquiring of a vast amount of verification data for radio communication devices and usage scenarios to meet various requirements. Therefore, the reduction of verification time is an essential factor. One of the existing verification methods is OTA (Over The Air) testing, which aims to verify the performance of radio communication devices in specific radio space. However, OTA testing had challenges in reproducing changes in the radio space in response to the physical movement of the device itself. It also had challenges in reproducing a variety of usage scenarios.

2. Technology overview and verification status

NTT Laboratories has proposed the radio space reproduction technology to reproduce the radio space in a verification environment to address the above issues. The proposed technology considers the radio characteristics of arrival direction, gain, and fading various indoor and outdoor scenarios. It can extend to new scenarios, such as in the sky and space. The radio space reproduction technology consists of the following three elemental technologies (Fig. 1).

  1. I. Radio propagation model estimation using optical propagation
    Technology to precisely fabricate miniature models of usage scenarios using 3D printers, etc., and visualize light as radio waves. This technology enables the estimation of propagation models such as attenuation, etc., without performing radio measurements that require a license for experimental measurements.
  2. II. Simulation for reproducing radio space
    To control devices that change radio characteristics (variable radio characteristics devices) such as metasurface reflectors (RIS: Reconfigurable Intelligent Surface), smart repeaters, and distributed antennas placed in the radio space for the proposed reproduction, a new concept of propagation simulation that links two radio spaces, the original real radio space and the reproduced radio space, is conducted.
  3. III. Coordinated control of variable radio characteristics devices
    Real-time control technology for multiple variable radio characteristics devices, e.g., RIS, reproduces radio propagation characteristics such as the direction of arrival, gain, and fading can be controlled by reflecting the control parameters calculated in the simulation.

As of May 2022, NTT Laboratories has completed the primary part of the next-generation verification environment construction in the Yokosuka R&D Center, and verification of the effectiveness of the proposed technologies has begun (Fig. 2).

3. Future plans

The first step is to reproduce a simple scenario in an indoor environment. In addition, we will challenge to reproduce complex verification scenarios, such as the simultaneous use of multiple radio communication systems, through the advancement of variable radio characteristic devices and control technologies.

Figure 1: Overview of radio space reproduction technology. Figure 1: Overview of radio space reproduction technology.

Figure 2: Next-generation verification environment Figure 2: Next-generation verification environment

About NTT

NTT believes in resolving social issues through our business operations by applying technology for good. We help clients accelerate growth and innovate for current and new business models. Our services include digital business consulting, technology and managed services for cybersecurity, applications, workplace, cloud, data center and networks all supported by our deep industry expertise and innovation. As a top 5 global technology and business solutions provider, our diverse teams operate in 80+ countries and regions and deliver services to over 190 of them. We serve over 80% of Fortune Global 100 companies and thousands of other clients and communities around the world.
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Media Contact

NTT Information Network Laboratory Group
Planning Department, Public Relations Section

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