Ficosa Verifies Next Generation Emergency Call Functionality with Rohde & Schwarz eCall Test Solution

While the current automotive eCall system for cars and light trucks uses GSM, the next generation emergency call system (NGeCall), already in preparation, is based on LTE. Rohde & Schwarz has now extended its tried and tested eCall test solution, which utilizes the R&S CMW500 platform, to cover NGeCall.

Munich, February 28, 2018 — Test and measurement specialist Rohde & Schwarz and Ficosa, a tier-one supplier of automotive parts and systems, will jointly demonstrate new features for the market-leading eCall test solution from Rohde & Schwarz. At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (February 26 to March 1), the two companies will show reproducible end-to-end functional tests of a telematic control unit (TCU) with a next generation eCall modem that uses the LTE network.

For the GSM-based automatic emergency call system, which will become mandatory for all newly registered cars and light trucks in the European Union as of April 1, 2018, the preparations have essentially been completed. eCall is an electronic safety system for cars that automatically informs an emergency call center or public safety answering point (PSAP) when a vehicle is involved in an accident. The system transmits a standardized minimum set of data (MSD) containing information such as the number of passengers, the timestamp and the GNSS coordinates of the accident.

However, since many network operators in the EU plan to switch off their GSM networks from 2020 on, LTE-based NGeCall is likely to become mandatory in the near future. For vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers, it is now important to move forward and make the next generation of vehicles fit for the future emergency call system.

Rohde & Schwarz offers the market-leading test solution for GSM-based eCall, and has now extended the functionality of the R&S CMW500 test platform and the eCall test software for LTE-based NGeCall. Ficosa provided a TCU with a next generation eCall modem to verify this functionality. The TCU can send the vehicle's position taken from an integrated GPS receiver and is able to make an emergency call during an accident via LTE. The two companies have successfully completed tests to show that Ficosa’s modem is ready for NGeCall.

In the I_HeERO project, the deployment pilot project of EU-wide eCall, Ficosa was responsible for looking at advancements in the management of data for NGeCall and developing the proof of concept for it. As part of this project, Ficosa compiled recommendations and delivered results for the implementation of NGeCall.

Laura Tantinyà, RF engineering supervisor at Barcelona-based Ficosa, says: “Rohde & Schwarz was always the first choice when Ficosa was looking for a way to validate its automotive products. From the very beginning, Rohde & Schwarz put all its expertise into advising us on the right equipment and tools to use to ease the path through the development process. We at Ficosa really appreciate the valuable support provided by Rohde & Schwarz – it makes a difference with high-tech products.”

The technical basis

The new R&S CMW-KA096 next generation eCall application software simulates an NGeCall-capable PSAP and remotely controls the R&S CMW500 to emulate an LTE cellular network and the required IMS infrastructure in the lab. This setup makes it possible, for example, to verify whether the IVS (in-vehicle system) modem is able to trigger an emergency call, send the correct raw MSD data and establish a voice connection via a VoLTE call with the PSAP. This can be done fully independent of any real-world mobile network. In combination with the R&S SMBV100A vector signal generator, the solution also supports GNSS position accuracy measurements.

The R&S CMW500 in combination with the R&S CMW-KA094 and -KA095 PSAP options is ready for functional and standard-compliant conformance and performance testing of eCall in the lab or in an automobile type approval test environment. Together with the R&S CMW-KA096 next generation eCall test suite, the solution is a future-ready investment.

The R&S CMW-KA096 will be available from Rohde & Schwarz in April and can be ordered now. For more information on eCall test solutions from Rohde & Schwarz, visit:

Rohde & Schwarz

The Rohde & Schwarz technology group develops, produces and markets innovative test and measurement, information and communications technology products for professional users. Rohde & Schwarz focuses on test and measurement, broadcast and media, cybersecurity, secure communications and monitoring and network testing, areas that address many different industry and government-sector market segments. Founded more than 80 years ago, the independent company has an extensive sales and service network in more than 70 countries. On June 30, 2017, Rohde & Schwarz had approximately 10,500 employees. The group achieved a net revenue of approximately EUR 1.9 billion in the 2016/2017 fiscal year (July to June). The company is headquartered in Munich, Germany, and also has regional hubs in Asia and the USA.

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